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I In Theory 
>and 

IPractiee 


IRevised 

{Edition 

^ARYEH KAPLAN 




























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The Book of Creation 

Revised Edition 


ARYEh KAPLAN 


WeiserBooks 


Boston, MA/York Beach, ME 


Revised edition published in 1997 by 

Red WheetfWetser. llc 

York Beach, ME 

With offices at 

368 Congress Street 

Boston. M A 022)0 

www. TrdwhfflweiHrr ctm 

An index has been added to ihi.s corrected edition 

Copyright © 1997 The Estate of Ary eh Kaphtn 
All rights reserved. No pan of this publication may be reproduced or 
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, 
including photocopy ang. recording, or hy any informal ton storage and 
retrieval system, without permission in writing from Red Wheri/Weiscr, 
U.T Reviewers may quote bnel passages. Original edition copyright G 
1990 The Estate of Aryeh Kaplan. 

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SdcfYrbinii. A Hfhm 

St Fit Ycrlxinh * Tht K njI of Ct^ukm : in ihcxiry jiml firndkc / Aiyth 
— Rrv, a]. 
p. cm. 

Tncludci hihliuKnphis'Al in funTmlUm imJkn 

\SBHfrtnm «lk. piperi 

1 J Tahala Fitly wwki in 1EMJO, 2 Sefer Yfi/irah. t. k*ptin. Aryth 
19lW-l9i2or3 II. Title. 

BM323.A417X37 JWT 

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About the Translator 


Rabbi Ary eh Kaplan was a world-renowned Torah scholar who pro¬ 
duced over 50 books in his brief lifetime* including Meditation and 
the Bib!?, Meditation and Kabbalah and The Bahir. Kaplan's worts 
encompassed commentary and translation! of ancient and obscure works 
by Bible scholars and Kabbalists, and works advising young Jews on 
the merits of study and observance, For a while he wu an editor of 
Jewish Life magazine, translated an enormous commentary on the 
Torah by the Sephardic rabbi, Yaakov Culi, and produced an original 
translation-commentary of the Five Books of Moses, which he called 
+ The Living Torah,” published by Moznaim* Israel. 

Aryeh Kaplan was bom in the Bronx, studied at local yeshivot, 
and continued his education ai yeshivot in Israel. For a while he entered 
the lietd of science and was, fora brief period* the youngest physicist 
employed by the United States government before devoting his life to 
Torah scholarship. He died at the age of 48 in 1983. 


I J 




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CONTENTS 


Page 

IX _ 

sJ 

sii 

av _ 

xxi 


INTRODUCTION 

The Text 


Authorship 


The Talmudic Period 


Texts and Co 


IIIHTiir 


itaries 


SEFER YETZIR.4II 


3 Chapter One 

93 

Chapter Two 

137 

Chapter Three 

157 

Chapter Four 

195 

Chapter Five 

229 

Chapter Six 

APPENDIXES 


257 

Appendix I: Other Versions of Sefer Yetzirah 

259 

Short Version 

2 m 

Long Version 

283 

Saadi a Version 

295 

Appendix II: The 32 Paths of Wisdom 

301 

Appendix UT: The Gates 

337 

Appendix IV: Editions and Commentaries 

319 

Printed Editions 

320 

Other Books Containing Sefer Yetzirah 

324 

Manuscripts 

MS 

Commentaries 

m 

Translations 


m _ NOTES 

•m INDEX 






























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Introduction 


The Sefer Yeizirah is without question the oldest and most mysteri¬ 
ous of all Kabbali&tic texts. The first commentaries on this book were 
written in the E Oth century, and the text itself is quoted as early as 
the sixth. References to the work appear in the first century, while 
traditions regarding its use attest to its existence even in Biblical 
times. So ancient is this book that its origins are no longer accessible 
to historians We are totally dependent on traditions with regard to 
its authorship. 

Equally mysterious is the meaning of this book. If the author 
meant lo be obscure, he was eminently successful- It is only through 
the most careful analysis, studying even word with its parallels in 
Biblical and Talmudic literature, that its haze of obscurity begins to 
be penetrated. 

There have been many interpretations of the Sefer Yetzirah. The 
earliest commentators tried to interpret it as a philosophical treatise, 
but their efforts shed more light on their own systems than on the 
text. The same is true of efforts to fit it into the systems of the Zohar 
or later Kabbalists. Efforts to view it as a book on grammar or pho¬ 
netics 3 tc even more unsuccessful, 

in general, the Kabbalah is divided into three categories, the the¬ 
oretical, the meditative, and the magical. 1 The theoretical Kabbalah, 
which in its present form is based Largely on the Zohar. is concerned 
mostly with the dynamics of the spiritual domain, especially Lhe 
worlds of the Sefirot. souls and angels. This branch of Kabbalah 
reached its zenith in the writings of the Safed school in the 16th cen¬ 
tury, and the vast majority of published texts belong in this 
category, 

Meditative Kabbalah deals with the use of divine names, letter 
permutations, and similar methods to reach higher states of con¬ 
sciousness, and as such, comprises a kind of yoga. Most of the main 
texts have never been published, but remain scattered in manuscripts 
in the great libraries and museums. Some of these methods enjoyed 
a brief renaissance in the mid !700's with the rise of the Hasidic 
movement, but within a half century they were once again largely 
forgotten, 



SF.FER \ ETZIRAH 


a 


The third category of Kabbaiah-the magical-is closely related to 
the meditative. It consists of various signs, incarnations and divine 
names, through which one can influence or alter natural events. 
Many of the techniques closely resemble meditative methods, and 
their success may depend on their ability to induce mental slates 
where telekinetic or spiritual power can effectively be channeled. As 
with the second category, the most important texts have never been 
printed, although sonic fragments have been published. One of the 
best examples of these is the book Razid. 

Careful study indicates that Sefer Yetzirah is a meditative text, 
with strong magical overtones. This position is supported by the ear- 
liesi Talmudic traditions, which indicate that it could be used to cre¬ 
ate living creatures. Especially significant arc the many reports and 
legends in which the Sefer Yetzirah is used to create a Golem, a son 
of mystical android. 

The methods of the Sefer Yeuirah appear to involve meditation; 
and it is highly possible that it was originally written as a meditative 
manual. A major 12th century philosopher thus states that it does 
not contain philosophy, but divine mystery, 2 This comes across very 
dearly in the commentary of one of the greatest Kabba lists. Isaac the 
Blind (1160-1236). who stresses the meditative aspects of the text. 

It is also particularly evident in a very ancient manuscript of 
Sefer Yetzirah. dating from the 10th century or earlier. The introduc¬ 
tory colophon states. “This is the book of the Letters of Abraham our 
Father, which is called Sefer Yetzirah. and when one gazes (izafah) 
into it, there is no limit to his wisdom." 5 As we shall discuss in our 
commentary (on 1:6), the Hebrew word nafah does not denote mere 
physical gazing, but mystical meditative insight. This very early 
source would therefore support the position that Sefer Yetzirah was 
meant to be used as a meditative text. 

The commentaries which treat Sefer Yetzirah as a theoretical 
text, read much of it in the third person: “He combined," “He 
formed," and the like. According to this reading, the text is referring 
to God s s creation. In many cases, however, the grammatical form 
more closely resembles the imperative.* The author is telling the 
reader to "combine" and “form* as if he was actually giving instruc¬ 
tions. In many other cases, the text is unambiguously instructive, as 
in such passages as, “if your heart runs, return to the place," and, 
“understand with wisdom, and be wise with undemanding," Rather 
than have the text oscillate between the third person and the impera¬ 
tive. it would certainly be more logical to read it all in the imperative. 
The Sefer Yetzirah thus becomes an instruction manual for a very 
special type of meditation. Out of deference to the majority of com¬ 
mentaries we have refrained from translating it in the imperative, but 



fnlrodticHon 


X E 


the implications of such a reading are discussed in the 
commentary. 

What we therefore have in Sefer Yeizirah appears to be an 
instruct ion a I manual, describing certain meditative exercises. There 
is some evidence that these exercises were meant to strengthen the 
initiate's concentration, and were particularly helpful in the develop¬ 
ment of telekinetic and telepathic powers, h was with these powers 
that one would then be able to perform feats that outwardly appeared 
to be magical. This is supported by the Talmud teal references, which 
appear to compare the use of Sefcr Yetzirah to a kind of white magic.* 
An important 13th century commentator writes that students of 
Sefcr Yetzirah were given a manuscript of the book Raziel. a magical 
text containing seals, magical figures, divine names and incantations. 41 

The Text 

The Sefer Yetzirah is a very small and concise book. In its Short Ver¬ 
sion, it is only some 1300 words long, while the Long Version contains 
approximately 2500 words. The Gta Version used in this translation 
contains around 1800 words. So short is the text, that one of the earliest 
fragments appears to have the entire book written on a single page, 7 
There is speculation that the original source may have contained as few 
as 240 words, 8 

The present text contains six chapters, and in some editions, these 
are said to parallel the six orders of the Mishnah. 4 Some ancient sources, 
however, stale that the book contains five chapters, and it seems likely 
that the present fifth and sixth chapters were combined as one in these 
texts. 10 The earliest commentator. Saadia Gaon, in a somewhat different 
version, divides the book into eight chapters, 1 ’ 

The text is presented dogmatically, without substantiation or expla¬ 
nation, In the first chapter in particular, it is solemn and sonorous, read¬ 
ing like blank verse poetry. Very Few- Biblical passages are quoted, and 
with the exception of Abraham, no name or authority is mentioned. 

The book seems to be divided into four basic parts. The first chap¬ 
ter introduces the Sdlrot, speaking of them at length. After this, how¬ 
ever, there is no mention whatsoever regarding the Sefirot in subsequent 
chapters. This had led to some speculation that the Sefcr Yetzirah might 
actually be a combination of two {or morel earlier texts. 

The second chapter consists of a general discussion about the letters 
of the alphabet. It dearly appears to be introducing their use in a medi¬ 
tative context. Also introduced in this chapter are the five phonetic fam¬ 
ilies and the 231 Gates, Again, neither the phonetic families nor the 
Gates are ever again mentioned in the text. 




xjj SEFER VETZERAH 

Chapter three to five discuss the three divisions of the loiters, 
"‘mothers, doubles, and elementals." These are related lo the “universe, 
soul and year," presenting a Fairly detailed astrological system. In these 
chapters, the entire thrust of the book is changed, and they contain vir¬ 
tually no him whatsoever of its meditative aspects. 
This, however, can be explained by a principle found in many later 
Kabbah si ic texts. In order to focus spiritual and mental powers, one 
must lake into account the time and astrological environment. 11 

The sixth chapter again does not appear lo have a clear connection 
to the earlier parts of the book, although in the Long Version, it is pro- 
semed almost as a commentary. Here, for the first time, are introduced 
the concepts of the “am, cycle and heart.” ideas which arc not discussed 
any place else in Hebraic or Kabbalistic literature, with the exception 
of the Bahir. 13 Of all the chapters, this one seems the most obscure, and 
if is difficult to decide if its emphasis is theoretical or meditative. 

This chapter concludes with a stanza linking the Sefer Yetzirah to 
Abraham. It is this quote that serves as a source to the tradition that 
the book was authored by the Patriarch. 

Authorship 

The earliest source to w hich Sefer Yetzirah is attributed is the Patriarch 
Abraham. As early as the lOih century, S&adia Gaon widen that, "'the 
ancients say that Abraham wrote it This opinion is supported by 
almost all of the early commentators, 15 Such ancient Kabbalistic texts 
as the Zohar and Raziel also attribute Sefer Yetzirah to Abraham. 1 A 
number of very okl manuscripts of Sefer Yetzirah likewise begin with 
a colophon calling it “the Letters of Abraham our Father, which is called 
Sefer Yetzirah.”" 

This does not mean, however, (hat the entire book as we have it 
now was written by Abraham As Saadia Gaon explains, the principles 
expounded in Sefer Y'ctzirah were first taught by Abraham, but they 
were not actually assembled in book form until much later, 18 .Another 
authority notes that it could not have actually been written by Abraham, 
since if it had, it should have been incorporated into the Bible, or at 
least be mentioned in scripture. ■* Similarly; when the 
Zohar speaks of books antedating the Torah, it does not include the 
Sefer Yetzirah among them, 30 

The attribution of Abraham is supported by the final stanza of 
Sefer Y'etzirah: “When Abraham ., looked and probed.,, he was success¬ 
ful in creation,,.” This passage clearly suggests that Abraham actually 
made use of the methods found in this text. 



Introduction 


All i 


In many editions of Sefer Yetzirah, scriptural evidence is provided 
by the verse, “Abraham went as God had told him, and Abraham rook.., 
the souls that they had made in Baran” (Genesis 12:5), According to 
some commentaries, this indicates that Abraham actu¬ 
ally used the powers of Seftr Yetzirah to create people. 21 This would be 
the earliest example of the use of Sefer Yetzirah to create a Golem. 
According to this, Abraham would have learned how to use the myster¬ 
ies of Sefer Yetzirah before God told him to Leave Haran.- 2 

Other authorities, however, say that “making souk* refers to con¬ 
verting them to belief in the one true God, and this is also supported 
by the Zohar, 23 Some commentaries attempt to reconcile this with the 
text of Sefer Yetzirah, explaining lhat with the rmrades wrought 
through the Sefer Yetzirah, Abraham was able to convince people of 
the power of God, and thus convert them to true belief.* 4 

The scripture states, '“the souls that they made.” in the plural. This 
would indicate that Abraham was not alone in his use of Sefer Yetzirah, 
but had a companion. A Midrash states that if Abraham would have 
engaged in the secrets of creation by himself, he would have gone too 
far in emulating his Creator, and he therefore worked together with 
Shem. son of Noah. 2 -' Ancient sources identify Shem with Maicbizedek. 
who blessed Abraham and taught him many of the earlier traditions. 3 * 

The most important mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah involve the inner 
significance of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Here too, we find that 
Abraham was a master of these mysteries. A Midrash thus states that 
“the letters were given to none other than Abraham.” 37 As we shall see 
in the commentary (on 1:3). the arrangement of the animals when Abra¬ 
ham made his covenant with God. also appears to be based on the mys¬ 
teries of Sefer Yetzirah. 

Further support linking Abraham to the Sefer Yetzirah is found in 
the Talmudic teaching that “Abraham had a great astrology in his heart, 
and all the Icings of the east and west arose early at his doorT 31 Sefer 
Yetzirah is one of the primary ancient astrological texts, and it is possi¬ 
ble that it incorporates Abraham astrological teachings. The fact that 
this astrology was said to be “in his hearT might also indicate that it 
involved various meditative techniques, as was indeed the case with 
ancient astrology, and is also suggested by Sefer Yetzirah. There is evi¬ 
dence that these mysteries were also taught to Abraham by Shem, along 
with the mystery of the calendar {Sod Halbbur). 9 When God revealed 
himself to Abraham one of the first things that He taught him was not 
to be overdependent on astrological predictions. 30 

Abraham was also fully aware of the magical and idolatrous uses 
that could be developed from these mysteries. The Talmud thus says 
that Abraham had a tract dealing with idolatry that consisted of 400 
chapters. 31 There is also a Talmudic teaching lhat Abraham taught 


iqh; 



SEFER YFTOHAH 




Che mysteries involving “unclean names’* lo Che children of his concu¬ 
bines, 33 This is based on the verse, “to the sons of the concubines 
that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and he sent them away,, to 
the lands of the east" (Genesis 25:6). These gifts const seed of occult 
mysteries, which then spread in eastern Asia. 

The attribution of the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah to Abraham 
would place its origin in the IfJth century before the common era. 
This is not very surprising, since such mystical tents as the Vedic 
scriptures date from this period, and there is every reason to believe 
that the mystical tradition was further advanced in the Middle East 
than it was in India a: the time. Since Abraham was the greatest mys¬ 
tic and astrologer of his age, it is natural to assume that he was famil¬ 
iar with all the mysteries of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Abra¬ 
ham was bom in Mesopotamia, and he also lived in Egypt, 

The next place where we find the use of Sefer Yetzirah is in a 
tradition regarding the older sons of Jacob, which states that they 
used it to create animals and maid servants. 3 * When the scripture 
states that “Joseph brought an evil report [regarding his brothers] to 
his father’ 1 (Genesis 37:2), it is referring to this. Joseph’s brothers had 
eaten an animal without slaughtering it properly, and Joseph did not 
know that the animal had been created through the Sefer Yetzirah 
and did not need such slaughter. He therefore reported that his broth¬ 
ers had eaten “flesh from a living animal " 

The mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah were used again after the Exo¬ 
dus, when the Israelites were building the Tabernacle m the desert. 
The Talmud states that Beizalel had been chosen to build this Taber¬ 
nacle because he “knew how to permute the letters with which heaven 
and earth were created.” 34 Such esoteric knowledge was required, 
since the Tabernacle was meant to be a microcosm, paralleling both 
the universe, the spiritual domain, and the human body. 35 ft was not 
enough merely to construct a physical building. As it was built, the 
architect had to meditate on the meaning of each part, imbuing it 
with the necessary spiritual properties. 

The Talmud derives this from the verse where God says, “I have 
called in the name of BetzaleL, and ] have rilled him with the spirit 
of God, with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge” (Exodus 
31:2-3), “Wisdom, Undmianding and Knowledge” (Chakhmah, 
Binah and Daut) refer to states of consciousness, which we shall dis¬ 
cuss at length. It is through the manipulation of the letters that such 
stales of consciousness can be a named. 

The sources are silent about the Sefer Yetzirah then until the 
rime of Jeremiah the prophet. Here again we find a tradition that 
Jeremiah wished to make use of Sefer Yetzirah. but as in the case of 
Abraham, was admonished not to attempt to do so alone. He there 



htifCniut-lnm 


it 


fore look his son, Ben Si rah, and the two explored these mysteries 
together, 36 Through their efforts, they were able to create a Golem, 
but they did not preserve It. 

There might have been more than one person with the name Ben 
Si rah, but the one in this tradition was dearly the son of Jeremiah 
Regarding his birth, (here is a fascinating tradition. Jeremiah had 
been accosted by homosexuals in the bathhouse, and as a result, had 
experienced an ejaculation in the tub- His semen remained viable, 
and when his daughter later used the same tub. she was impregnated 
by it, eventually giving birth to Ben Sirah. 17 Ben Sirah was therefore 
the son of both Jeremiah and the latter’s daughtcr. 

Some sources say that his name was originally Ben Zera fSon of 
Seed), but when this name proved embarrassing, he changed it to Ben 
Sirah, B Because of the sensitive nature of his birth, he did not call 
himself “son of Jeremiah." There is an allusion, however* since Sirah 
(«Tt>) and Jeremiah (mw) both have a numerical value of 271. Later 
authorities were to bring proof from this incident that artificial 
insemination does not constitute adultery or incest. 55 

These traditions are of particular interest, since there are many 
hints that Jeremiah taught these mysteries 10 a certain Yosef* son of 
UzieL son of Ben Sirah.There is also at least one source that states 
that Ben Sirah actually taught the Sefer Yetzirah to Yosef ben Uziel.* 1 
What is even more interesting is the fact that there are hints that this 
very same Yosef ben Uziel may have written a commentary on Sefer 
Yetzirah, or even possibly one of the earliest versions of the text 
itself. 42 

This is important because it would date the first version of Sefer 
Yelzirah to the early years of the Second Temple. This was also the 
time of the Great Assembly, who put some of the last books of the 
Bible, such as Ezekiel, into writing, and then closed the Biblical Can¬ 
non, 4 3 Much of the regular Hebrew prayer service was also composed 
by this Assembly.* 4 Like these prayers, the Sefer Yetzirah was not put 
into writing, but was taught from memory. 

The Talmudic Period 

Upon entering the Talmudic period, we make a transition from tradi¬ 
tion to history. We find actual mention of Sefer Yetadrah in the Tal¬ 
mud, and even though it is not absolutely certain that it is identical 
with our version, there is no real reason to doubt that they are one 
and the same. In Talmudical times, the Sefer Yetdrah began as an 
oral teaching, and was eventually incorporated as a book, which was 
used by the sages. 


laht 


r 


4 



SfTER YET? I RAH 




The first reference to such use involves Rabbi Yehoshua [ben 
Chananya], a leading sage of the first century.. He is credited with the 
statement. H 1 can take squashes and pumpkins, and with the Sefer 
Yetzirah, make them into beautiful trees. These will in turn produce 
other beautiful trees,^ Allhough the phrase, **with the Sefer 
Yetzirah," does not occur m printed editions of the Jerusalem Tal¬ 
mud, it is found in manuscripts. 

This, reference to Rabbi Yehoshua is highly significant. Rabbi 
Yehoshua was one of the five main disciples of Rabbi Yochanan ben 
Zakkai (47 k*-73 cth leader of all Jewry after the destruction of the 
Temple, and a renowned expert in all occult arts,** It was Rabbi 
Yehoshua who was Rabbi Yochanan’* main disciple in the mysteries 
of the Markava (Chariot), and he later gained fame as the greatest 
expert of his time in the occuh. 4T 

This also sheds light on another important mystical personality. 
According to one ancient source. Rabbi Yehoshua also received the 
tradition from Rabbi Nchuna ben HaKanah. leader of the school 
that produced the Bahir, In Sefer HaTagin, we find that the tradition 
regarding the mystical significance of the crowns (/agm) on Hebrew 
letters was handed down in the following manner: “Menachem gave 
it over to Rabbi Nchunia ben HaKanah, Rabbi Nchunia ben 
HaKanah gave it over to Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh. Rabbi Elazar ben 
Arakh gave it over to Rabbi Yehoshua. and Rabbi Yehoshua gave it 
over to Rabbi Akiba.*‘ 4, 

Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh is best known as the greatest disciple of 
Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, It is also known that he learned the 
Markava mysteries from Rabbi Yochanan, 30 From the above tradi¬ 
tion, we also see that he learned from Rabbi Nchunia. possibly after 
he left Rabbi Yochanan, The Talmud reports that at this point, Rabbi 
Elazar went to live by the river Dismas, in the town of Emmaus. 31 
Emmaus. however, is also known to be the place of Rabbi Nchunia, 
as well as a general seal of Kabbalistic teaching. 32 It is quite possible 
that Rabbi ELazar became so involved in mysticism, that, as the Tal¬ 
mud reports, he lost his grasp of legalistic theory. 

Also significant is the fact that Rabbi Nchunia is said to have 
received the tradition from Menachrm It is known that Rabbi 
Nebunia w as the leading mystic of the first century, as well as a col¬ 
league of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai . n There are. however, no 
records as to whom his masters were. From the Sefer HaTagin we 
learn that Rabbi Nchunia learned at least some of the mysteries from 
Menachem, who served as vice president of the Sanhedrin (Supreme 
Court| under Hillel It was when Menachem resigned his post that 
Shammai was appointed in his stead-* 4 



hurodhclian 


Wll 


Most authorities identify this individual with Menachem the 
Essene, discussed by Joseph us Menachem had once seen Herod as 
a child, and had prophesied that he would be king. Because of this, 
when Herod later ascended the throne, he honored Menachem as well 
as the other Essence Due to his relationship with Herod, Menachem 
could no longer maintain his position in the Sanhedrin, 

If we accept the above tradition, Nehunia ben HaKanah might 
have received at least some of his mystic knowledge from Menachem 
the Essene. This would indicate that the Essenes were conversant in 
the mystical arts, and that they taught them to at least some of the 
Talmudic masters. Josephus states that the Essenes made use of the 
names of angels, and were able to fortell the future, using various 
purifications and methods of the prophets.** Even more significant, 
Josephus also likens the Essenes to the Pythagoreans,- 17 Since the 
Sefcr Yetzirah apparently contains some elements that resemble the 
teachings of the Pythagoreans, it may be (hat the text was preserved 
by the Essenes during the period that preceded the Talmud 

Rabbi Elazar taught the tradition regarding the crowns on letters 
to Rabbi Vehoshua, who in turn gave it over to Rabbi Akiba (12-132 
ce). Rabbi Akiba excelled in ibis area, and the Talmud reports that 
he could derive many important teachings from these crowns, H He 
also received the Markava tradition from Rabbi Yehoshua, as well 
as other important occult lore,** There is no question that in his time. 
Rabbi Akiba was considered the greatest of all experts in the mystical 
realm. 1 * Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar, was also a 
disciple of Rabbi Akiba. 

It is therefore not surprising that a number of sources attribute 
the authorship of Sefer Yetzirah to Rabbi Akiba. 41 Most of the early 
Talmud Seal texts originated with Rabbi .Akiba, who transmitted them 
orally in a well defined form.*- Although these books were not written 
down, they had been worded by Rabbi Akiba. and it was his wording 
that was taught orally. 

At that time, there was a rule that the oral tradition be reviewed 
exactly, word for word, precisely as they had been given over, the 
rule was, ”One should always reveiw the precise wording of his mas* 
ter,** 61 Each master would therefore provide a program of study, 
which his disciples would memorize word for word. In the legalistic 
field, this was known as the “First Mtshnah," M It is possible that 
Rabbi Akiba also produced an oral text of Sefcr Yetzirah for his stu¬ 
dents of mystical lore to memorize. Besides this, personal notes may 
also have been kept. 

In this respect, the Sefcr Yetzirah would have been no different 
from the rest of the oral tradition. Although it was meant to be trans- 



nviu 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


milled by word of mouili. and was not actually published, personal 
records and manuscripts were kept* 5 This was especially true of 
important teachings that were not usually reviewed in the academies, 
as well as esoteric texts,* 4 Similarly, the heads of the academies would 
keep written notes in order lo accurately preserve the traditions, 67 

Although these notes were never published, they were carefully 
preserved in the academies. Subsequent teachers often added mar¬ 
ginal notes to these manuscripts, and such notes were even occasion¬ 
ally found in the Biblical scrolls which they used, 4 * Since these notes 
were preserved by private individuals and never distributed 
publicallv.. they were collectively known as “hidden scrolls’” {MegUlat 
Setarim}. 49 Not only such esotene material as Sefer Yetzirah was 
included in this category* but even such Legalistic material as the 
Mishnah. which was meant to be transmitted orally. 

This might help explain why the Sefer Ycizirah exists in so many 
versions. Unlike the Mishnah, which was eventually published in a 
well defined edition, the Sd'cr Yetzirah never developed beyond the 
state of being a “hidden scroll," Different versions may have been 
taught by various teachers, and. since the text was never openly pub¬ 
lished, there was no way in which these versions could be compared 
and corrected- Furthermore, many marginal notes may have been 
incorporated into the texl, also producing different versions. All this 
may provide an explanation for the fact that there is no Hebrew' clas¬ 
sic that is found with so many versions and variants as the Sefer 
Yetzirah, 

It seems highly probable that the Sefer Yetzirah was already in 
its present form when the Mishnah was redacted in the year 204 cl 
The Mishnah was edited by Rabbi Yehudah the Prance (135-220 rt), 
usually referred to simply as “Kebbi.” It is indeed possible that there 
is a reference to Sefer Yetzirah in the Mishnah itself. In one of the 
few places where it discusses esoteric lore, the Mishnah states, “The 
mysteries of creation {Maaseh Bereshit} may not be expounded in the 
presence of two disciples, and the mysteries of the Markava (Maaseh 
Markava) may not be expounded even in the presence of one. unless 
he is wise, understanding with his knowledge.'' 10 

The term Maaseh Merkava refers to the meditative methods used 
to ascend to the higher spiritual realms. Tl Although such later philoso¬ 
phers as Maimonides claimed that this involved philosophical specula¬ 
tion. the most ancient sources clearly state that Maaseh Markava dealt 
with the meditative methods used for spiritual ascent 1 * As such, it was 
considered the most esoteric of all spiritual exercises. 

According to many authorities, Maaseh Bereshit refers to the 
mysteries of Sefer Yctzirah. TJ Since we know that Maaseh Markava 
was of mystical nature, it would be logical to assume that the same 
was true of Maaseh Bereshit. Furthermore, the assumption that 



infruduetion 


KL\ 


Maaseft Beresfut involves Sefer Yetzirah also clarifies a number of 
Otherwise obscure Talmudical references, There is also evidence that 
Rebbi was familiar with ihc mysteries of the Martava. and it is logi¬ 
cal 10 assume that he was also aware of Sefer Yetzirah/* 

A generation later, we thus find an account of two of Rebbfs 
disciples dearly involved in the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah. The Tal¬ 
mud relates. "Rabbi Hanma and Rabbi Hoshia would engage them¬ 
selves ini Sefer Yetzirah even, [Friday] before the Sabbath, would cre¬ 
ate for themselves a prime ' calf, and would eat it."'* Another version 
of this account states that they engaged in Hilkhot Yetzirah (Rules of 
Creation), rather than Sefer Yetzirah. ” The term Hilkhot, however, 
can apply to philosophical rules as well as legal ones,** In some of the 
most ancient manuscripts, Sefer Yetzirah is actually titled Hilkhot 
Yetzirah J* 

There are many interpretations as to exactly what these two sages 
accomplished in creating such a calf, and why they did it. Some say 
that they did not actually create a physical calf, but created such a 
clear meditative image that the spiritual satisfaction was the same as 
eating.* 0 Even such a Kabbalist as Abraham Abulafia (1240-1296} 
maintains that their creation was mystical nil her than physical-' 1 The 
Rashba (Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet: 1235-1310) saw particular signi¬ 
ficance in the fact that they would engage in this on Friday, the day 
in which mammals were originally created, 11 This entire question wiU 
be discussed further in our commentary, 

Evidently, Rebbi also taught these mysteries to his disciple Rav 
(Abba Arikhta), who in turn laughi them to Rav Yehudah (220-299 
ce), founder and first master of the Babylonian academy in 
Pumpadiia. This Rav Yehudah, together with Rav Aina, were called 
the ‘‘elders of Pumpadita,"* J The Talmud relates that the “ciders of 
Pumpadiia were versed {(ami) in Staaxeh Ber&hit"** From the use 
of the word farm here, tt is evident that Maaseh Bereshit already 
existed in a definite form, most probably as a written book.** This 
would suggest that Sefer Yetzirah had already been put in writing. 

There is also other evidence that Rav Yehudah learned the mys¬ 
teries of Sefer Yetzirah from Rav. The (caching, “BctzaleJ knew how 
to permute the letters with which heaven and earth were created," b 
attributed to “Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav." 1 * Also attributed 
to him is the statement that Cod told Abraham to “go out of your 
astrology." 1 This indicates that he had some evidence that Abraham 
was versed in astrology, a position dearly found in Sefer Yetzirah. 
There is also evidence that Rav Yehudah learned the mysteries of the 
42 letter Name from Rav,** 

As an initiate into the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah, Rav Yehudah 
would also have a deep understanding of ihc mystical significance of 
the Hebrew language. We thus find that he emphasized the use of the 



SEFER VBTZtRAH 


ns 

Hebrew language, even in his daily conversation.** Rav Yehudah also 
maintained that prayer should be voiced in Hebrew, and not in the 
Aramaic vernacular. 90 

The Talmud relates that Rav Yosef knew the mysteries of the 
Markava, while the “elders of Pumpadita’ 1 were versed in the myster¬ 
ies of creation, Rav Yosef got the elders to teach him the mysteries 
of creation, but would not entrust them w ith the Markava mysteries 
in return. 91 

This indicates that the mysteries of the Markava and those of 
Sefer Yetzirah were taught by different schools, and that members of 
one school did not know the teachings of the other. The two in volved 
different disciplines, and care was taken to keep them separate. This 
also answers the question as to why the Sefer Yetzirah is never men¬ 
tioned in the Hekhalot. the classic of Markava literature.* 2 The 
Markava literature developed in a school that might have not had 
access to Sefer Yetzirah, even though certain of its members were 
definitely versed in it. In the same context* Sefer Yetzirah is men¬ 
tioned but a very few times in the Zohar, and then, not in the main 
text, 93 

In that period, there were some sages who eschewed these mys¬ 
teries completely. Such an individual was Rabbi Elazar ben Padat, 
who headed the academy in Tiberius after the death of Rabbi 
Yochanan in the year 279 ce. When Rabbi Yochanan had offered to 
teach him the Markava mysteries, he deferred on the grounds that he 
was too young. Alter Rabbi Yochanan’s death, when Rabbi Assi 
wished to impart these mysteries to him. he again deferred, saying. 
“If l would have been worthy, I would have learned them from Rabbi 
Yochanan your master.” 94 

Instead, Rabbi Elazar adopted a position somewhat opposed to 
the esoteric schools, accepting the viewpoint of Rabbi Yosi ben 
Zimra, Denying that the SelCT Yetzirah could be used to actually cre¬ 
ate life, he said in the name of Rabbi Yosi. ‘‘If all the people in the 
world came together, they could not create a gnat and imbue it with 
a soulT” It was not that Rabbi Elazar doubted that such powers 
existed- Rather, he felt that they were no longer known. These pow¬ 
ers. however, did exist in the Torah, Rabbi Elazar thus said, “The 
paragraphs of the Torah are not in order. IT they were in [correct] 
order, anyone who read them would be able to [create a world.] resur¬ 
rect the dead, and perform mi racks,” w 

A generation later. we find two important sages actively engaged 
in the mysteries of Sefer Yetzirah. The first was Rava (299-353 ce)* 
founder and First master of the Babylonian academy in Mechuza, 
who is credited with saying. “If the righteous desired, they could cre¬ 
ate a world” 97 His partner was Rav Zeira, w r ho was known as the 



Ifttr&iwrtitM 


xai 

“saint of Babylon*”" So great were Rav 2cira + s meditative powers 
that he was able to plate his feet in fire without burning them. He 
would test himseireach month to see if this power was unabated. On 
one occasion, the other sages distracted him. and he failed, where¬ 
upon he was called* ‘‘The little man with the burned feet.”^ 

An ancient tradition states that Rava and Rav Zcira worked 
together for three years, meditating on the Sefer Yetzirah, When they 
finally mastered it, they created a calf and slaughtered it. serving it 
at a feast celebrating their accomplishment. They then tost thdr pow¬ 
ers and had to work for another three years to restore them 1 ® 

The Talmud relates that "Rava created a man" and sent him to 
Rav Zeira. When the latter saw that this android would not answer 
his questions, he realized that il was a Golem, and told it to “return 
to the dust."'o' The Rahir remarks that the Golem could not speak 
because Rava was not completely free from the taint of sin, and as 
long as man sins, he cannot partake of the powers of the Creator 105 
Only God can make a man who can speak, This is the first mention 
of the creation of a Golem in Hebraic literature, but in the middle 
ages, several other instances are reported. 103 

Even the expression, “Rava created a man." has mystical conno^ 
tat ions. In the original, it is RaBhA BaRA GaBhRA {troj $13 wm), 
and, as an early Kabbalist notes, the second word is nothing other 
than the reverse of the first,The third word adds a Gimmel, the 
third Idler of the alphabet, to the w ord before it. This yields a phrase 
consisting of icn letters, with a numerical value of 6! 2, one less than 
613, the clumber of bones and blood vessels in the human body* tM 
The man created by Rava was thus something less than human. In 
many ways, this expression is reminiscent of the word Abracadabra 
(AB1IA K’ADaBR. 4 ~n-a-H 3 emit), which literally means. “1 will create 
as I speak.” 1 ® 

Touring the Talmudic period, there were many sages who engaged 
in these mysteries A 07 With the close of this era, however, a blanket 
of silence was cast over alt occult activities. It appears that a number 
of mystical books were written during the subsequent Gaonic period, 
but their origins are shrouded in mystery. Still, knowledge of these 
practices clearly existed as lale as the 10th century, and Haj Gaon 
f939-1038) speaks of people engaged in the mystical permutation 
{tzeruf) o Reiters. 104 

Texts and Commentaries 

It is not until the posi-Talmudic period that we find actual quotations 
from the Sefer Yetzirah. One of the earliest such references is in a 



SEFER YETZIRAH 


ssii 


TabEc S. Historical opinions as to when Sefer Yeizirah was written. 


Before 100 bce 

Lazarus Goldsmidt, Dm Buck der Schdpfitng, 
Frankfun, 1894, p. 12, 

Israel Weinstock, Temirin /, Jerusalem, 1972, 
p. 21. (for earliest parts). 

1 00 BTE“ l00 TE 

Adolphe Franck. Die Kabbalah, Leipzig, 

1844. p. 65. 

Israel Weinsiock. local (for second layer). 

1-IOOce 

Adolph JeEEinek, Introduction to Die 

Kabbalah, pp.6-9. 

Yohann Friedrich von Meyer, Das Buck 

Yen rah, Leipzig, 1839, p. v. 

Heinrich Graetz. Gnosticisms Krotoschin* 
1846. pp. 102-103. 

100-200 ct 

Isadore Kalish, Sefer Yetxirah , New York. 
1877, p r 3, 

David Caste! Ii t Commenti di Donoio, 

Firenze, 1880, p. 14, 

Abraham Epstein, Beit rage zur Judischen 
Aherthumskunde, Vienna, 1887, 1:46 49. 
Idem., Rescherche sur ie Sefer Year a, Revue 
des Edui es Juives 29:75-76 (1894). 

Gershom Scholem, Ursprung und Anfange, 
Berlin, 1962, pp. 21, 25 (note 45). 

Avraham Mcir Habermanru Sinai 10:141 
(1947). 

200-400 ce 

Louis Ginzberg, Jewish Encyhpedia , New 
York, 1904, 12:605. 

Gershom Scholerrt T Encyclopedia Judatca. 
Berlin. 1932, 9:109, 

400-600 cf 

Leo Baeck. 4 as drei Jahrtausende, Berlin, 
1938, p. 382. 

600-800 ct 

Hermann L. Si rack. Einleitung in Talmud 
und Midras, Munich, 1921, p. 221, 

Sh. Morg, Sheia Kefatoh BGD KRPT. Sefer 

TurSinai, Jerusalem, I960, pp. 233-236, 
Nehemia Aloni, Hlstorische Grammatik, 

Hali, 1922, p. 92. 

Idem,, lemirim /, p. 96. 


py righted msterie 



in traduction jtiiii 

Table I. Historical opinions as to when StfcrYtmttth was written 

(continued); 

800-900 i f Leopold Zunz, Die Gatfensdientichcn 

Vorfrdge der Juden, Berlin. 1892, p> 175. 
Moritz Steinschneider, Judische Lueratur. 
p, 40 L 

Heinnch Graetz. Geschechte der Juden 
(1875) 5:297. 

Ph. Bloch, Mystik imd Kabbalah, Trier, 

1896, p. 244, 

Israel Weinstock, loc cit . (for latest 
additions). 


poem written by Rabbi EE&zar Kaliri who lived in the fifth or sixth 
century, and perhaps even earlier. He writes: 109 

Then, from eternity, with Ten Sayings You gouged 

With Scribe, script and scroll-Ten, 

You finished them in six directions. 

Ten words. 

There are also allusions to the teachings of Sefer Yelzirah in 
Bereita deShmuei HaKatan . which, according to internal evidence, 
was written in or around 776 ct. 110 There is also a mention of the 
“Ten Sefiroi of Nothingness" in a late Midrash, w'hich could have 
been redacted around this time. 111 

The absence of any unambiguous references to Sefer Yetzirah in 
earlier literature has led some historians to speculate whether or not 
the Talmudic citations arc referring to our text. Some maintain that 
our version was written much later than the Talmud. A list of such 
estimates in given in Table 1. 

The most careful analysis, however, reveals a number of strata in 
the text. The earliest parts of the book appear very ancient, possibly 
antedating the Talmudic era. 113 A considerable amount of the text 
appears to have been added later on, possibly as a glossary or commen¬ 
tary, As some of the earliest commentators on Sefer Yetrirah note, com¬ 
mentaries and marginal notes were occasionally incorporated into the 
text. 113 In the iGth century. Rabbi Yaakov ben Nissim writes, "People 
write Hebrew comments on the book, and other foolish people come 
later and comment on the commentary'. Between them, truth is lost." 111 
This is not surprising, since in Talmudic times, such marginal notes 
were even common in Biblical scrolls, although enough was known of 
their text, that the comments were not incorporated into it. 

Several strata are evident in Sefer Yetzirah, some apparently 
added in the late Talmudic period, and others in the Gaonic era. 


J 



»ri 







SFFER YETZtR VH 


Thus, critical estimates as to its age would depend on which pans 
were stud ted. 

The earliest commentaries on Sefer Yetztrah were written in the 
1 Oih century, The first was written in 931 by Saadia Gaon, one of 
the most important religious leaders and philosophers of his time. 
The second. Chakaniorti^ was written by Rabbi Shabhatai Donnelo 
in 946, while the third was written by Donas h ibn Tamim a decade 
later. 113 All of these are philosophical, rather than mystical, in 
content. 

Most significant is the fact that each of these commentaries was 
written on a different version of Scfer Yemrah. The commentary by 
Donasb was w ritten on what is now generally referred to as the Short 
Version. With minor variations, it was this version that was printed 
in 1562 in the Mantua edition, and it is dominant in all subsequent 
printed editions. 

The commentary of Shabbatiai Donnelo was written on what is 
now referred lo as the Long Version. Many printed editions included 
this Long Version as a sort of appendix. A complete manuscript, dat¬ 
ing from the lOtb century', also exists of ibis version. Although Lhere 
are important differences in the assignment of values to letters and 
planets, the Long Version is very 7 much like the Short Version with 
an additional commentary. This is particularly evident in the sixth 
chapter, where we find a commentary on the first stanza of the book. 
Also significant are some recaps (4:14, 5:20). which are actually revi¬ 
sions of the previous text. The existence of both a Short and Long 
Version was noted as early as the I3lh century by Abraham 
Abulafia, 616 

The third version is that of Saadia Gaon, which is also found in 
some early Geniza fragments. This is very much like the Long Ver¬ 
sion, except that the si an/as are in completely different order This 
variant, usually called the Saadia Version, has been virtually ignored 
by the Kabbalists, even though it was apparently used by Rabbi 
Yehudah HaLevi in his Kuzari. 

As early as the 10th century, Saadia Gaon remarked about the 
many variants of Scfer Yetzirah, saying, “It is not a common book, 
and many people have been careless in changing or transposing the 
text.’" 117 A century laier, Rabbi Yehudah Rarcdom likewise notes 
ihat, “there are many versions, some very confused." 11 * In 1562, the 
printers of the first Mantua edition remarked how they had to sift 
through many manuscripts to find a dependable text. 

If all the variants found in manuscripts arc counted, there are 
literally dozens of different variants in the text of Sefer Yetzirah. No 
other Judaic text exists in so many versions. Some of these might 



tmrtx(naton 


nv 


have come from different schools, who, because these teachings were 
secret, did not communicate with each other, Differem marginal 
notes and commentaries also apparently became incorporated into 
the text, producing different variants. Furthermore, if the text was 
preserved orally for a long time, variants in its ordering may have 
also developed. 

Besides this, there is another possibility, suggested by the fact 
that, in essence, the Kabbalists rejected ail the above mentioned ver¬ 
sions. It is known that during the Gaonit period <6ih- 10th centuries), 
the Kabbalists restricted their teachings to very small secret societies. 
Great stress was placed on maintaining secrecy so that their teachings 
should not fall into improper hands. Since Scfer Yetzirah is such a 
small book, it presented the greatest danger. The leaders of these 
schools may have deliberately released spurious versions, so as to 
confuse those who would be tempted to penetrate their mysteries. 
With several versions in circulation, the uninitiated would not know 
which to choose. 

It was the Kabbalists themselves who preserved the correct text, 
initially concealing it from outsiders. Around 1550, Rabbi Moshe 
Cordevero. leader of the Safed school and the greatest Kabbatist of 
the day. sifted through the ten best manuscripts available, choosing 
the one most closely fitting the tradition of the Kabbalists, 11 * A gene¬ 
ration later, the text was further refined by the An (Rabbi Yitzchak 
Luria), one of the greatest IvabbaNsts of all time. This text, known as 
the Art Version, was published a number of times, usually as pan of 
some other collection. It resembles the Short Version in many ways, 
but there are some very significant differences in assignment. In gen- 
eraf the Ari Version is the only one which is in agreement with the 
Zohar. 

A number of variations were found even in this version, and a 
final edited text was finally produced by the Gra (Rabbi Eliahu. Gaon 
of Vilnal in the 18th century. 1J0 This is known as the Gra-Ari Ver¬ 
sion. or simply, as the Gra Version. 

Thus, there are four important version? of Sefer Yetzirah. They 

are: 


1) The Short Version 

2) The Long Version 

3) The Saadia Version 

4) The Gra Version. 

Since the Gra Version was considered the most authentic by the 
Kabbalists, this is the one that we have chosen for the initial transla¬ 



te 



iuvi SEFER VETZIft 

tion and commentary. The other three versions are presented in 
Appendix J r 

Over eighty commentaries have been written on Scfer Yetzirah. 
Some, especially the earliest, were primarily philosophical. With the 
emergence of Kabbalah as a public teaching, a number of Kabbalistic 
and mystical commentaries were also written. When the Bahir and 
the Zohar were published, commentators worked to fit the Sefer 
Yetzirah into the system of these texts. The same was true of the 
teachings of the An, which dominates the later commentariev A his¬ 
tory of the commentaries on Scfer Yetzirah reads very much like a 
history of the Kabbalah in general. A list of the major commentaries 
is found in the Bibliography. 

Our commentary on Sefer Yetzirah takes into account most of 
these, as well as our other research into the methods of the 
Kabbalists. much of which has been published in my Meditation and 
Kabbalah. While the various theoretical approaches are important, l 
have focused primarily on the mystical techniques outlined in Sefer 
Yetzirah, as well as the meditative methods that they imply. 

3 Kistev, 573? 


Copyrighted material 



Sefec 


Copyrighted material 



Copyrighted material 



CHAPTER 


ONE 


Copyrighted material 



C opy rig h led m ale ri al 



Chapter One 


5 



nsOT jwSs ram wnm wwhvz 
D>nVii Smir* k&k jiwjy ra* rr ppn 
pi^ «i?n m pjm oim hi? b« a^j? fStn o*n 
mh%' ns jrai kh vnj7i ono io» wnpi ip 
:T15P1 1501 1503 DH5D HP'tM 


H ith 32 mystical fjaths of H isdom 
engraved Yah 

the Lord of Hosts 
the God of Israel 
the living God 

King of the universe 
El Shaddai 

Merciful and Gracious 
High and Exalted 
Dwelling in eternity 
Whose name is Holy — 

He is lofty and holy — 

And He created His universe 
with three books (Sepharim), 
with text (Sepherf 
with number (Sephar) 
and with communication (Sippur), 


With 32 


As the nest stanza will explain, these 32 paths are manifest as 
the 10 digits and the 22 tellers of the Hebrew alphabet. The 10 digits 
are also manifest in the Ten Sefirot, which arc the most basic con¬ 
cepts of existence, 

The tetters and digits are the basis of the most basic ingredients 
of creation* quality and quantity. 1 The qualities of any given thing 
can be described by words formed out of the letters, white all of it* 
associated quantities can be expressed by numbers* 

Numbers, however, cannot be defined until there exists some 
dement of plurality in creation. The Creator Himself Is absolutely 


r J 





5FFER YETZIRAH 




Table 2. The 32 Paths in Genesis I. 


1. 

In the beginning God created 

Keter 

Scfirah 1 

2. 

The spirit of God hovered 

Heh 

Elemental 1 

3, 

God said, let there be light 

Chakhmah 

Scfirah 2 

4, 

God saw the light that it was 
good 

Bel 

Double l 

5. 

God divided between the 
light and darkness 

Vav 

Elemental 2 

6, 

God called the light day 

Zayin 

Elemental 3 

7* 

God said T let there be a 
firmament 

Binah 

Sefirah 3 

8. 

God made the firmament 

Alef 

Mother 1 

9. 

God called the firmament 
heaven 

Chet 

Elemental 4 

10. 

God said, let the waters be 
gathered 

Chesed 

Sefirah 4 

11. 

God called the dry land earth 

Tet 

Elemental 5 

12, 

God saw that it was good 

Gimel 

Double 2 

13. 

God said, let the earth be 
vegetated 

Gevurah 

Sefirah 5 

14. 

God saw that it was good 

Dalct 

Double 3 

15, 

God said, let there be 
luminaries 

Tiferct 

Sefirah 6 

16, 

God made two luminaries 

Mem 

Mother 2 

17. 

God placed them in the 
firmament 

Yud 

Elemental 6 

IS. 

God saw that it was good 

Kaf 

Double 4 

19, 

God said, let the waters swarm 

Netsach 

Sefirah 7 

20. 

God created great whales 

Lamed 

Elemental 7 

21, 

God saw that it was good 

Peh 

Double 5 

22. 

God blessed them, be fruitful 
and multiply 

Nun 

Elemental 8 

23. 

God said, let the earth bring 
forth animals 

Hod 

Sefirah S 

24, 

God made the beasts of the 
field 

Shin 

Mother 3 

1 25. 

God saw that it was good 

Resh 

Double 6 

26. 

God said, let us make man 

Yesod 

Sefirah 9 

27. 

God created man 

Samekh 

Elemental 9 




Chapter One 


1 


Table 2. The 32 Pathfc in Genesis I i continued), i 


28. 

In the form of God He cre¬ 
ated him 

Eyin 

Elemental 10 

29. 

God blessed them 

Tzadi 

Elemental 11 

30. 

God said, be fruitful and 
multiply 

Malkhut 

Sefirah 10 

31, 

God said, behold I have 
given you 

Kuf 

Elemental 12 

32. 

God saw all that He had made 

Tav 

Double 7 


simple, containing no plurality whatsoever. He is the most absolute 
unity imaginable. Therefore, plurality only came into existence with 
the advent of creation. Only then could numbers be defined. 

The first elements of plurality in creation involved the Ten 
Scfirot, Hence, it was the Scfirot that defined the numbers, and there¬ 
fore, the concept of quantity in general. 

Most of Sefer Yetzirah will deal with these 32 paths, as they are 
manifest in the letters and numbers. The 32 paths N themselves, how¬ 
ever, will not be mentioned again. The early KabbaJists define these 
32 paths as different states of consciousness. A list of these is given 
in Appendix II. 

According to the Kabbalists. these 32 paths are alluded to in the 
Torah by the 32 times that God’s name Elohim appears in the account 
of creation in the first chapter of Genesis, ! In this account, the expres¬ 
sion “God said" appears ten limes, and these are the Ten Sayings with 
which the world was created. 1 These Ten Sayings parallel the Ten 
Sefirot/ The first saying is said to be the verse, “In the beginning God 
created the Heaven and the Earth” {Genesis 1:1). Even though “God 
said” does not appear here, it is implied and understood- 1 

The other 22 times that God’s name appears in this account then 
parallel the 22 letters of the alphabet. The three times in which the 
expression “God made” appears parallel the three Mothers. The 
seven repetitions of “God saw” parallel the seven Doubles. The 
remaining twelve names parallel the twelve Elemental!. See Table 2. 

In general, none of the names of God refer to the Creator Him¬ 
self. The Creator is only referred to as Ain Sof. which means the Infi¬ 
nite Being, or simply, the Infinite. The names used in scripture and 
elsewhere merely refer to the various ways through which God mani¬ 
fests Himself in creation. 

The name Elohim, which is used throughout the first chapter of 
Genesis, refers to the manifestation of delineation and definition. 
Each of the 32 paths therefore served to delineate and define a panic- 




SEFER YETZIR.AFf 


8 


Table 3. The Hebrew alphabet. 


Final 

Form 

Represented 

by 

Hebrew 

name 

Sounded 

as 

Signification 
of the 

names 

Num¬ 
erical 1 
value 


s 

Silent 


A 'leph 

Ox 

I 


3 

b. bh 


B&ih 

House 

2 


J 

& gb 

to 

Gi-mdi 

Camel 

3 



d, dh 

rfcl 

D&'teth 

Door 

4 


n 

h 

Ml 

Hi 

Window 

5 



V 

t 

Vd\ 

Hook 

6 


T 

z 

« 

Zd yffi 

Weapon 

7 


n 

ch 

rm 

Chith 

Fence 

8 


a 

t 

rvD 

mh 

Snake 

9 


1 

y <i) 

ir 

Y6dh 

Hand 

10 

1 

3 

K kh 

T? 

Kdph 

The hand bem 

20 


b 

1 

ipb 

Ld T -midh 

Ox-goad 

30 

e 

a 

m 

Bp 

Mim 

Water 

40 

! 

1 

n 

t« 

jVjJ n 

Fish 

50 


3 

s 

m 

Sti *-mikh 

Prop 

60 


J? 

Silent 

m 

A-yin 

Eye 

70 

1 

b 

p, ph 

ff E> 

Pe 

Month 

80 

r 

* 

ts 

m 

Tkd-dhi’ 

Fish-hook 

90 


P 

kfq) 

TP 

Qdph 

Back of the 







head 

100 


i 

r 


Rtsh 

Head 

200 


IP 

sh, s 

ptt 

Stun 

Tooth 

300 



t, th 

1 P 

Tdv 

Cross 

400 


u)a t aspect of creation, Man is seen as a microcosm, with each thing 
in his body parallel mg, something in ihc forces of creation, Thus, for 
example, the six days of creation have parallels in man's two arms, 
two tegs, torso and sexual organ. This is the significance of the 
Torah’s statement that God formed man “in the image of God” fGen¬ 
esis 1:27), Mole that the word for ■‘God” here is Elohim This is 
because man s form parallels the structure of the delineating forces 
that define creation. 

The Kabhalists note that the 32 paihs of Wisdom have their par* 
a I lei in the human nervous system > Thirty-one of these paths then 


Copyrighted material 















Chapter One 


9 


parallel the 11 nerves that emanate from the spinal cord, The thirty- 
second and highest path corresponds to the entire complex of cranial 
nerves, which are twelve in number. 

The nervous system serves a double purpose. First, it transmits 
messages from the brain to alt parts of the body, allowing the mind 
to control the limbs and organs. Secondly, the nervous system trans¬ 
mits information from the various senses to the brain. Four of the 
senses, sight, hearing, taste and smell, come directly through the cra¬ 
nial nerves, which are entirely in the brain. The impulses that come 
from the lower 31 nerves deal primarily with the sense of touch and 
feeling. 

Like the nerv es, each of the 32 paths is a two way street. First it 
is the channel through which the Mind exerts control aver creation. 
Secondly, however, it is also the path through which man can reach 
the Mind. If an individual wishes to attain a mystical experience and 
approach the Mind t he must travel along the 32 paths. 

In Hebrew, the number 32 is written Lamed Bet fab). This spells 
Lev, the Hebrew word for heart. 7 It is in the heart that the action of 
(he Mind is manifest in the body. As soon as the influence of the 
mind ceases^ the heart ceases to function, this being the definition of 
death. 

The heart also provides lifeforce to the brain and nervous sys¬ 
tem. When the heart stops pumping, the nervous system can no 
longer function, and the mind no longer exerts influence on the body. 
The heart therefore serves as a causal link between mind and 
body. a 

It is for this reason that Sefer Yeutrah calls the heart “the king 
over the souf’ (6:3). It also describes the mystical experience as a 
“running of the hern" (1:8). 

The Torah is seen as the heart of creation. The first letter of the 
Torah is the Bet fa) of Bereskit (jrwena)—“1 n the beginning." The last 
letter of the Torah is the Lamed (b) of Yisrael (h«-rp > )—“Israel." 
Together, these two letters also spell out Lev (ah), meaning heart. 9 
The 32 paths arc contained in the Torah, which is the means through 
which the Mind is revealed. It is also the link between the Mind arid 
the physical universe. The Torah is therefore expounded in 32 differ¬ 
ent ways, as taught by Rabbi Yosi of Galili. 

The two letters Lamed (b) and Bet <j) also share another unique 
distinction. As a prefix. Lamed means "to," and Bet mean* “in." The 
three letters of the Tetra gramma ton, Yud (>) r Heh (n), and Vav (i), 
can also serve as suffixes for personal pronouns. The suffix Yud 
means “me," Heh means "her" and Vav means “him," 



IQ 


SFFER YETZIRMH 


In the entire alphabet, there are only two letters 10 which these 
suffixes can be joined, and these arc Lamed and Bet. These then spell 
out the words: 


Li 

b to me 

Bi 

o 

in me 

Lab 

*6 to her 

Bah 

nn 

in her 

Lo 

b to him 

Bo 

13 

in him 


The two letters. Lamed and Bel, are the only ones in the entire alpha- 
bet which combine with the letters of the divine name in this 
manner, 10 

The number 32 is the fifth power of two (2 5 ). As the Sefer 
Yetrirah explains {J:5) + the Ten Sefirot define a five dimensional 
space. The 32 paths correspond to the number of apexes on a five 
dimensional hypercube, 11 

This is not as difficult as it might seem, A line, which has one 
dimension, has two (2 J ) apexes or ends, A square* having two dimen¬ 
sions, has four (2 2 ) apexes or comers. A cube, which has three dimen¬ 
sions, has eight (2*) comers. We thus see that with the addition of 
each dimension, the number of apexes is doubled. A four dimen¬ 
sional hypercube has 16 or 2* apexes, while a five dimensional 
hypercube has 32 or 2 s apexes. 


Paths 

The Hebrew word for "paths" here is Netivot (mxnil. a word that 
occurs only rarely in scripture. Much more common is the word 
Derekh (pri). As the Zohar states, however, there is an important dif¬ 
ference between these two words, A Derekh is a public road, a route 
used by all people, A jVpriv, on the other hand, is a personal route, a 
path blazed by the individual for his personal use, 1 ' It is a hidden 
path* without markers or signposts* w r hich one must discover on his 
own, and tread by means of his own devices. 

The 32 paths of Wisdom arc therefore called Netivot. They are 
private paths, which must be blazed by each individual. There is no 
open highway to the mysteries—each individual must discover his 
own path. 

The numerical value of AToiiv (avu) is 462. This is twice the num¬ 
ber of the 231 Gates discussed below (2:4). These gates are a means 
through which one ascends and descends along the 32 paths. 



riq 



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Chapter One 


1 1 


Mystical 

These paths are said to be mystical* Feliyot (nwcH&j m Hebrew. 
This comes from the root Fata (k^b), which has the connotation of 
being hidden and separated from the world at large. 1 * Not only are 
these paths individual, but they are hidden, concealed and 
transcendental 

This is very closely related to the word Fetch (kS&) t meaning a 
miracle. A miracle is separated and independent from the laws of the 
physical world. It is also influenced by hidden forces. As such, it is a 
link with the mystical and transcendental plane. The same is true of 
the paths of Wisdom, 

According to the Zohar. the word Feleh specifically relates to the 
paths of Wisdom, 1 ' 1 The type of miracle denoted by the word Feleh 
is specifically one that is accomplished through the manipulation of 
these paths. The methods of manipulating these paths is one of the 
important teachings of Sder Yeizirah, 

The Sefer Yetzirah later oath the three Mothers, *a great mysti¬ 
cal {muFhLA) secret* (3:21. The first of the three Mothers is Aleph 
(«). When spelled out* Aleph (tSk) has the same letters as Peleh 
(wbsJJ* 

According to the Kabbalists, the letter Aleph denotes Keter 
(Crown), the highest of the Sefirot. 1 * it is with regard to Keter that 
Ben Strab said. ^In what is mysterious {muFhLA} for you, do not 
seek.' 1 * 

The Kabbalists call Keter the level of Nothingness OfyjrtjL 11 It is 
on this level that the laws of nature cease to exist, and can therefore 
be altered. 

As the book Raztel points out, the three letters of Feleh (wH*) rep¬ 
resent increasingly hidden values.' 5 According to the phonetic fami¬ 
lies defined by Sefer Yelzirah (2:3), the first letter. Peh O), is pro¬ 
nounced with the lips, the second letter. Lamed (S). with the middle 
of the tongue, and the final AJef («), with the throat. Thus, the first 
letter is pronounced with the outermost revealed pan of the mouth, 
white the last is voiced with the innermost concealed pan. The word 
Feleh thus denotes the transition from the revealed to the 
concealed. 


Wisdom 

These 32 paths arc said to be paths of Wisdom ( Chakhtnah ). In 
a Kabbalistic sense, Wisdom is seen as pure, undifferentiated Mind. 30 
It is pure thought, which has not yet been broken up into different!- 



5EEER YETZIRAH 


12 

atcd ideas. Wisdom is the level above all division, where everything 
is a simple unity. 

It is in recognition of this that the Talmud states, ^Who as wise 
{Chakhamfi He who learns from every man," 21 It is on the level of 
Wisdom that all men are one. Hence, if one is on This level, he must 
learn from every human being, and indeed, from all creation. 
According to the Baal Sfaem Tov, this means that a person on the 
level of Wisdom must even Hearn from Evil. 22 It is only on levels 
below' Wisdom that people are separated imo different individuals. 
Only on lower levels does the division between good and evil 
exist. 

The Talmud likewise states. “Who is wise? He who perceives the 
future.* 11 This is because Wisdom is the pure mind force lhai tran¬ 
scends time, On the level of Wisdom. past, present and future have 
not yet been separated. Hence* on this level, one can set the future 
just like the past and present. 

The antithesis of Wisdom is Understanding. The Hebrew word 
for Understanding is Binah (rrra), which comes from the root Reyn 
IraJu meaning “between."^ 

Understanding is the level immediately below W isdom. It is on 
the level of Understand mg that ideas exist separately, where they can 
be scrutinized and comprehended, W'hilc Wisdom is pure undifferen¬ 
tiated Mind. Understanding is the level where division exists, and 
where things are delineated and defined as separated objects, 

On the level of Wisdom, all men are included in a single world 
soul. Undemanding is the level of Ntsham&k, w here the soul of each 
individual assumes a distinct identity, and each one is seen as a sepa¬ 
rate entity. 

The divine name associated with Understanding is Elohim. 
This is a plural word, since Understanding implies a plurality of 
forces. It is the name Elohim that is used throughout the entire first 
chapter of Genesis in describing the act of creation. The 32 times 
that this name occurs correspond to the 32 paths of Wisdom. 

This resolves an important difficulty. If Wisdom is a simple 
undifferentiated Mind T how can it be manifest as 32 distinct paths? 
But actually. Wisdom is undifferentiated, and it is only through the 
power of Understanding that it is divided into separated paths. These 
paths are therefore designated by the name Elohim, the name associ¬ 
ated with Understanding. 

An example would be water flowing through a system of pipes. 
Water itself h an undifferentiated fluid, having no essential i macro¬ 
scopic) structure. Structure is only imposed on it when i! flows 
through the system of pipes, in the analogy, Wisdom is the water* 
while Understanding represents the pipes that channel it 


n 


tig! 



Chapter One 


13 

The 32 paths are expressed as the letters and numbers. Since 
these represent division, they are manifestations of Understanding, 3 * 
Hence, Wisdom represents nonverbal thought, while Undemanding 
is its verbalization. 

in this respect, Wisdom and Understanding are seen as being 
male and female respectively, in the Kabbalah. Wisdom is seen as 
the Father (Abba). while Understanding is the Mother (lmmah). The 
male represents unchan no led creative force. This can only be brought 
into fruition when delineated, enclosed and channeled by the female 
womb, ll is for this reason that the Sefer Yetzirah (1:2) calls the pri¬ 
mary letters “Mothers." 

This also resolves another difficulty. Earlier, wc said that the 32 
paths represent the heart, since the Hebrew word for heart, L&\\ actu¬ 
ally spells out the number 32. The heart, however is normally associ¬ 
ated with Understanding, while these paths are said to pertain to 
Wisdom, 37 But the paths merely channel Wisdom, while the sub¬ 
stance of the paths themselves is Understanding, 31 


Engraved 

The test states that the Creator used these 32 paths to “engrave" 
so as to create His universe. 

The Hebrew word here is Chakak (ppftf This usually has the con- 
notation of removing material, as in the verse, “Engrave (chakak) 
yourself a dwelling in a rock'* (Isaiah 22-16), Derived from this root 
are the words Chok (pm) and Chukah (npri), meaning “rule" and 
“decree." since rules and laws serve to remove some of the 
individual's freedom of action. 3 * Thus, the word Chakak is closely 
related to Ma-chak (pno), meaning “to erase." as well as to the root 
La-bach (np*>), meaning to “remove" or “take." 1 ® 

The word Chakak is veiy closely related to the concept of writ¬ 
ing, 31 The main difference between engraving {chakak} and writing is 
that when one writes, one adds material such as ink to the writing 
surface, while when one engraves, one removes material. When the 
Bible uses the work Chakak to designate writing, it is referring to 
such systems as cuneiform, where the text was written by removing 
wedges of day from a tablet. 

To understand why the author uses the term “engraved" here, 
we must understand the idea of creation. Before a universe could be 
created, empty space had to exist in which it could be made. But ini¬ 
tially. only God existed, and all existence was filled with the Divine 



M 


SFFLfi YFTZLRAll 


Essence, the Light of the Infinite {Or Ain Sof). It was out of this 
undifferentiated Essence that a Vacated Space had to be engraved. 
The process, known to the Kabbahsts as the Tzimtzwm (Constric¬ 
tion), is clearly described in the Zohar: M 

In the beginning of the King's authority 

The Lamp of Darkness 

Engraved a hollow in the Supernal Luminescence. . „ 

The hollow engraved in the Supernal Luminescence was the Vacated 
Space, in tvhicfo all creation subsequently oceured. 

The undifferentiated Light of the Infinite which existed before 
the Constriction is on the level of Wisdom, which is pure unddine- 
ated Mind. The power of constriction is that of Understanding, this 
being what the Zobar calls the “Lamp of Darkness," It is negative 
light, or negative existence, which can engrave a hollow in the Divine 
Essence. 

This Constriction or hollowing of the Divine Essence did not 
occur in physical space, but rather, in conceptual space. It is ‘"hollow'’ 
insofar as it contains the possibility for information, but not actual 
information. As such, it is the "Chaos and Void” {Tbku and Boh\t) 
mentioned in ihe account of creation, where the Scripture slates, “the 
earth was chaos and void” (Genesis 1:2), Chaos is a stale where infor¬ 
mation can exist, but where it does not exist. 51 

The hollow was made through the 32 paths, since letters and dig¬ 
its arc the baric bits of information. While random Letters and num¬ 
bers do not actually convey information, as long as they exist, it is 
also possible for information to exist. The Vacated Space is therefore 
the stale where it is possible for information to exist, but where this 
possibility has not yet been realized. 

These letters were subsequently combined into w r ords, forming 
the Ten Sayings of creation. Each of these sayings brought informa¬ 
tion into the Vacated Space, through which creation could take place 
there. 

The order was therefore first “engraving,* 4 and then “creation." 
The Sefer Yeizirah therefore states that the Creator “engraved.., and 
created His universe" 


Engraved Yah 

Many of the Kabbalislic commentaries translate this as “He 

engraved Yah.” In Hebrew, the word “he” is often not written 

out, but understood from the verbal form. The '"He" here refers to 
the Infinite Being (Ain SoJ) who is above ah the divine Names, 5 * 





Chapter One 


IS 

According to this, the Scfer Yetzirah is saying lhai the Infinite 
Being began creation by engraving the divine Names through the 32 
paths of Wisdom, The Names are written with letters, and they could 
only come into being after the letters had been created. 

It is in the same vein that some of the early Kabhalists interpret 
the first verse in Genesis to read, “In the beginning He created 
El oh ini. along with the heaven and Lhe earth," 35 The first thing that 
the Infinite Being created was the name Elohirm, which is associated 
with the Constriction. 

The divine Names also parallel the Sefirot. Once the Vacated 
Space had been engraved, the Sefirot could be created inside it. The 
“engraving " of this Space was therefore intimately related to these 
Names. 

This can also be read in the imperative. “With 32 mystical paths 
of Wisdom, engrave Yah. „ and create His world.'* The term 
“engrave* here would mean to form a dear mental image of the 
Name, so as to meditate on it, as we will discuss later (1:14). The 
method is alluded lo in Rava’s saying, “if the righteous desired, they 
could create a world*" 3 * 

Yah 


Saadia Gaon translates this as. "the Eternal.' 1 

The Kabbah sis normarively associate the name Yah (rt‘) with 
Wisdom (Chakhmah). Actually, however, only the first letter of this 
name, the Yud p), designates Wisdom. The second letter, Heh (n) des¬ 
ignates Understanding, the feminine principle. 

The reason why this name as a whole is used to designate Wis¬ 
dom is because Wisdom cannot be grasped except when il is clothed 
in Understanding For this reason, the Yud alone is not used as the 
name for Wisdom, but rather, the Yud combined with the Heb. 

There are a number of reasons why these two letters represent 
Wisdom and Understanding respectively, Yud has the primary form 
of a simple point. This alludes to the fact that Wisdom is simple and 
undifferentiated. The numerical value of Yud is J0 + indicating that 
all Ten Sefirot are included in the simple nature of Wisdom, 

At the beginning of a word, the letter Yud indicates the mascu¬ 
line future. This is related to the teaching, "Who is wise? He who 
perceives the future.^ 37 

At the end of a word, when used as a suffix, the letter Yud means 
“me" or “my." Wisdom is the essential nature of the individual, 
belonging to him alone. As such, it is the ultimate "my." The same 
is true of the Sefirah of Wisdom tChakhmah) w ith respect to the Infi¬ 
nite Being. 



16 


SEFLK \ ETZIftAH 


Heh has a numerical value of 5 t alluding to the five fingers of 
the hand As such, ii represents Understanding, the hand that holds 
Wisdoti, distributing and channeling it. 3 * 

Al the beginning of a word, the prefix Heh means "the." It is the 
definite article, that specifies and delineates an object Like 0 hand, 
the definite article holds and specifies a concept that is specific rather 
than general At the end of a word, Heh indicates the feminine pos¬ 
sessive, "her.’* This is because Understanding is the domain of the 
Feminine Essence. 

Heh is one of the two letters in the Hebrew alphabet that ts writ¬ 
ten as two disjunct parts. This alludes to the fact that Understanding 
represents the beginning of separation. 

There is some disagreement in the Talmud as to whether or not 
Yah is a divine name.” The Sefer Yetzirah clearly takes the position 
that it is. 


Yah> the Lord... 

In Hebrew, this is written as YH YHVH (rm* ?*>. It was with these 
six letters that God created all things. It is thus written, "Trust in 
God for eternity of eternities, for with YH YH YH He formed uni¬ 
verses” {Isaiah 26:4),*° 


The Lord of Hosts 

This name usually designates the Sefirot which are associated 
with revelation and prophecy, These arc Neizaeh (Victory) and Hod 
(Splendor), -1 

This name, however, also contains the Tetragrammaton 
(YHVH), here translated as “the Lord," The Teiragrammaion desig¬ 
nates the totality of all the Sefnot. Hence, the phrase, "YHVH of 
Hosts," actually represents all the Sefirot as they arc revealed to 
man.* 2 

This is the reason for the designation, "YHVH of Hosts." It 
refers to revelation, the state in which God associates Himself with 
beings that arc lower than Himsdf. namely, His “hosts." 

According to the Talmud, the first person to use the designation, 
“Lord of Hosts." was Hannah, when she prayed. “O Lord of Hosts, 
if You will look at the affliction of Your servant" (I Samuel 
1:11 ).** 



Chapter One 


17 


God of Israel 

This h connected to “Lord of Hosts." While revelation in general 
is to all of God's hosts, in particular, it is granted to Israel. As we 
shall see (2:4), the name Israel is closely associated with the 231 
gates. 

The Hebrew word for "God** here is Elohim. This alludes to 
Understanding, the concept that divides and delineates. 


The Living God 

The name is associated with the essentia] creative forces* repre¬ 
sented by the Sefir&h of Vesod (Foundation). In man, this force paral¬ 
lels the sexual organ. 

In Hebrew, this phrase is Elohim Chaim. This Sefirah takes all 
the forces, collectively referred to as Elohim, and presents them in 
an active, procreative mode. Life is defined as that which is active 
and procreates, and hence, this is the connotation of “Living 
God,"* 4 


King of the Universe 

This is the mode in which God relates to the universe as a king, 
and it is associated with the Sefirah of Malkhut (Kingship). Of all the 
Sefirot, this is the only one which comes into direct contact with the 
lower stages of creation. 

The first five designations, “Yah* the Lord of Hosts, God of 
Israel, the Living God. King of the Universe." thus designate the Ten 
Scflrol in their downward mode, as they are the source of all creative 
force. 


El Shaddai 

These two names are usually translated as “Almighty God.” 
Saadia Gaon, however, translates them as “Omnipotent Almighty." 

Here the Sefcr Yctzirah begins designating the Sefiroi in an 
upward mode. In the Bahir. the disciples thus ask, “From above to 
below we know; But from below to above we do not know," 4i 



SEFfeR VETZJRAH 


Ik 


The designation El Shaddat is also related to the procreative 
force presented by Yesod (Foundation), and corresponding to the 
sexual organ in man. 

We therefore have two designations for Yesod {Founds lion), 
“Living God” \Ebhim Chaim\ and El Shadrfai, 

"Living God” is the designation of this Selirah from a God's eye 
view, while E3 Shaddai is its designation from a man's eye view. God 
thus told Moses, "1 appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El 
Shaddat” (Exodus 6:3}. 

The first five designations represented the downward process, 
from God to the universe, through which the creative force is chan¬ 
neled, The author, however, is now designating the names that relate 
to the upward process, through which man approaches the Divine. 
“King of the Universe,” ihe lowest stage, applies to both directions. 


Merciful and Gracious 

These are the second and third of the Thirteen Attributes of 
Mercy, expressed in the verse. “El, merciful and gracious” (Exodus 
34 : 6 ).« 

On this level, one can comprehend the inner workings of the six 
Sefirot Chcsed (Love), Gevurah (Strength), Tiferci (Beauty), Netzach 
(Victory), and Hod (Splendor). It is through these Seftrot that God 
expresses His mercy to the world, This level was gained by Moses 
when God told him, “I will have mercy upon whom 1 will have 
mercy, and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious” (Exodus 
33:19). 


High and Exalted 

The next designations are all taken from the verse, “For thus says 
(God], High and Exalted, dwelling in Eternity, and whose Name is 
Holy, I dwell lofty and holy.,." fIsaiah 57:15). 

“High and Exalted* refers to the level of Understanding (Bin ah I. 
The lower seven Seflroi correspond to the seven days of creation. 
Understanding (Binah) is above these seven Sefirot, and hence, it is 
the level preceding action and creation. This is the level where God 
is seen as being utterly transcendental, separated from all the worldly, 
and high above everything mundane. 

“Dwelling in eternity" speaks of the level of Wisdom 
(Chakhmah). This is the level that is above time. Here one perceives 
God as transcending not only space, but time as well, 



riqh: 


n 



Chapstf One 


39 


“His Name is Holy” alludes to the level of the Crown (Keter), 
the highest of the Sefirot 

The Kabbalists note that the expression. “His Name,” which ia 
Hebrew is Sh'mo (top), has a numerical value [gematria) of 346. This 
as the same as the value of Ralzon (pan}, meaning “will'** 7 Will is 
even higher than Wisdom, since it is the impluse that gives rise to all 
things, even thought. In Kabbah Stic terms. Will is designated as 
Crown (Keterl Just as a crown is worn above the head, so is the Will 
above and outside all mental processes. 

The word Holy (Kadosh) denotes separation, and its general 
sense implies separation from the mundane. 41 The expression, “His 
Name is Holy." indicates that the Crown is a level that is separated 
and removed from every imaginable concept. Since it is above the 
menial processes, it cannot be grasped by them. 

The last expression, "lofty and holy" is not found in many ver¬ 
sions of Sefcr Yctzirah. It possibly relates to the Infinite Being IAin 
Sof), which is lofty above all concepts, even Will, 

The last five designations thus refer to the rungs which man must 
climb to reach the Infinite. These are the Sefirot in their upward 
mode. 

The impulse of creation first went downward through the Sefirot, 
and then it went upward again, returning to the Infinite, Only then 
could creation lake place, 


With three books 

Sefcr Yctzirah now begins to define the word Sefirah, the 
Hebrew designation for the divine emanations that form the basis of 
creation. 

The Hebrew word for book. Sepher fnsu), has the same root as 
the word Sephirah (rrrau), except that the former is masculine and 
the latter is feminine. 

These three books are said to be “text, number, and comm unica¬ 
tion. w The Hebrew word for “text" here is Sepher (isro), which literally 
means “book.* “Number" is Sephar (-©o), from which the English 
word "cipher" is derived, '‘Communication" is Sippur ("np*p), which 
more literally is ^telling." 

These three divisions respectively represent quality, quantity, 
and communication. These arc the letters, numbers, and the manner 
in which they are used, 4 * 

These three books correspond to the three divisions of creation 
defined by Sefcr Yetzirah* namely, “Universe, Year, and Soul," In 



su m VI TZIJt AH 


m 


Tab It 4. The three hooks 


Text {Srpht'O 

World (spate) 

Form of Letters 

Number (Scpharj 

Year (lime) 

Numerical Value 

Communication 

Soul (spirit) 

Pronunciation and 

(Sippur) 


Name of letters 


more modem terms, these would be called space, time and spirit. 
“Universe" refers to the dimensions of space, "year' to time, and 
“sour to the spiritual dimension. See Table 4, 

As we shall sec. the Scfcr Yctzirah speaks of a five-dimensional 
continuum defined by ihe Ten Sefirol The first three arc the three 
dimensions of space, the fourth dimension is time, while the fifth is 
the spiritual dimension. 

Since the three special dimensions comprise a single continuum, 
the three of them together constitute the first "book," Time is the 
second "book," while the spiritual dimension is the third. 

The three books define the three ways in which the array of the 
32 paths can be presented. First, one can draw a diagram representing 
them, as one would picture them in a book. This is the aspect of 
“tent." This is also the aspect m which they appear in the Book of 
the Torah, in ihe tirsl chapter of Genesis. 

Secondly, one can express the numerical sequences and distribu¬ 
tions of these paths. Thus, for example, as the Setcr Yctzirah states 
(1:2|, the 32 paths consist of ten Sell rot, and 22 letters, the latter 
which consists of three Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve Elemen- 
tals. This is ihe aspect of number in the 32 paths. This is also related 
to their affinity to certain geometrical forms. 

Finally, one can speak of the rclaiionships between these paths 
as they convey information. This is the level of "communication/' It 
is closely related to the 32 paths where they represent stales of con¬ 
sciousness. as presented in Appendix II, 

These three aspects are most apparent in the letters of the 
alphabet.™There are three primary ways in which the letters can be 
interpreted. First, there is the physical font! of the letters, as they are 
written in a book. 1 his is the aspect of “tent" i Sephcrh w hich literally 
means book. Secondly, there is the numerical value or gematria of 
the letter, this being “numberFinally, there is the sound of the let¬ 
ter. as well as the way its name is pronounced, this being 
“communication" or “telling," See Table 5 on page 22, 

“Text" i&ptar), the phy sical form of the letter, pertains lo the 
continuum of space, since form only can be defined in space. This is 
“Universe “ Number (Stphar) h implies sequence, and This is the 
sequence of time, which is The continuum of the “Year." Finally, 






Chapter One 


2\ 


communication (Sippur) applies to the mind, and this is in she spirit* 
ual wwitinimm, which IS “Soul," 

These three words also define the term Sdirah, First, the word 
Scfirah shares the root with Sefer ; meaning book. Like a book, each 
Sefirah can record information. The Sefiroi thus serve as a memory 
bank in the domain of the Divine. A permanent record of everything 
that has ever taken place in all creation is thus made on the 
SefiroL 

Secondly, the word Scfirah shares a root with Sephar, meaning 
number. It is the Sefiroi that introduce an clement of number and 
plurality into existence. The Creator, the Infinite Being, is the most 
absolute unity, and the concept of number does not apply to Him in 
any manner whatever. In speaking of the Infinite Being, the Sefer 
Yetzirah therefore asks, “Before one. what do you count" (1:7)? It is 
only with the creation of the Scfvrot that the concept of number 
comes into being. 

In this mode, every event and action is measured and weighed 
by the Sell rot, and the appropriate response is conceived and calcu¬ 
lated. Using the computer as an analogy, the Sefiroi function as the 
processing unit of the Divine domain in this mode. 

Finally, the word Sefirah shares a root with Sippur . which means 
^communication" and ’‘idling." The Sefiroi are the means through 
which God communicates with His creation. They are also the means 
through which man communicates with God. If not for the SefiroL 
God, the Infinite Being, would be absolutely unknowable and 
unreachable. It is only through the Sefiroi that he can be 
approached, 

Of course, as all the Kabbah sts want, one should not in any way 
worship the Scfirot or pray 10 them. 51 One may. however, use them 
as a channel. Thus, for example, one would not think of directing a 
petition lo the postman, but one could use him to deliver a message 
to the king. In a mystical sense, the Sefiroi form a ladder or tree 
through which one can Mtmb" and approach the Infinite. 

Thus, when the Sefer Yet zi rah presents the words Sepher, Sephar 
and Sippur here, it is not doing so accidentally. Rather, the book is 
deliberately presenting roots which define the concept of the Sefiroi. 
This is all the more obvious, since this entire chapter deals with the 
Sefi rot. 

The three aspects, “text, number and communication," arc the 
keys lo the methods of Sefer Yetzirah, 

If one wishes to influence anything in the physical universe 
(space), he must make use of the physical shape of the letters, If this 
involves a meditative technique, one would contemplate the appro¬ 
priate letters, as if they were written in a book. The method involves 



22 


SEFER YETZEFUH 


Table 5. The numerical value of letters 


Letter 

Name 

Sound 

Value Designation 

Phonetic 

Family 

n 

Alef 

■fsj* silent 

1 

mother 

guttural 

5 

Bel 

m B,Bh 

2 

double 

labial 

3 

Gimmel 

*ttu G,Gli 

3 

double 

palatal 

1 

Daiei 

rfn D,Dh 

4 

double 

lingual 

ta 

Heh 

in H 

5 

elemental 

guttural 

i 

Vav 

it V (W) 

€ 

elemental 

labial 

r 

Zaytn 

pi Z 

1 

elemental 

dental 

ft 

Chet 

twi German ch 

s 

elemental 

guttural 

o 

Tet 

ma T 

9 

elemental 

lingual 

» 

Yod 

*TF Y<I> 

10 

elemental 

palaial 

U 

Kaf 

*15 K.Kh 

20 

double 

palatal 

b 

Lamed 

TTjS L 

30 

elemental 

lingual 

d ja 

Mem 

I" M 

40 

mother 

labial 

P 

Nun 

p) N 

50 

elemental 

lingual 

0 

Samckh 

im S 

60 

elemental 

denial 

V 

Eyin 

pv silent 

70 

elemental 

guttural 

*\J> 

Pch 

P.Ph 

m 

double 

labial 

T*7 

T^adi 

*n T i 

90 

elemental 

denial 

P 

Kuf 

TV 5 K <Q> 

JOG 

elemental 

palatal 


Rcsh 

R,Rh 

200 

double 

dental 

IP 

Shin 

rv shfs) 

300 

mother 

dental 

n 

Tav 

i*jt T + TH 

400 

double 

lingual 


making each particular letter combination fill the entire field of 
vision, eliminating all other thoughts From the mind. 

Finally, if one wishes to influence the spiritual realm, he must 
make use. either of the sounds of the letters, or of their names, This 
technique, which we shall describe, is the one that is used when mak¬ 
ing a Golem. 



nvrm wnm crittyi fia 'hi mTBO -\wy 
mry D'nxri mSuo \nw mos wbv mo’ 

jJTIDllPS 


Ten Sefirot of Nothingness 
And 22 Foundation Letters: 
Ihree Mothers, 

Seven Doubles 

And twelve ENmentals 




Chapter One 


IS 


Ten Sefirot 

The Sefer Yetzirah now defines the 32 paths as consisting of 10 
Sefirot and 22 letters. 

The word Sefirah lit erally means M count mg.* It is thus distin¬ 
guished from the word Mispar, meaning “number." Although the 
Sefirot are said to represent the ten basic digits* they are not actual 
numbers. Rather, they are the sources from which the numbers origi¬ 
nate. Although the Sefer Yetzirah does not name the Ten Sefirot 
their names are well known from the classical Kabbalah. They are 
given in Table 6, The Sefirot are usually presented in an array con¬ 
sisting of three columns, as in the figure. 

The names of the Sefirot arc all derived from scripture. In 
recounting Betzalefs qualifications, God says* “I have filled him with 
the spirit of God* with Wisdom* with Understanding* and with 
Knowledge” (Exodus 31:3). As the Sefer Yetzirah later states (1:9)* 
the “spirit of God"" refers to Keter (Crown), the first of the Sefirot. 
Wisdom and Understanding then refer to the next two Sefirot, 

The first two Sefirot are likewise alluded to in the verse* “With 
Wisdom* God established the earth, and with Understanding, He 
established the heavens, and with His Knowledge, the depths were 
broken up 1 " (Proverbs 3:19*20). It is likewise written* “With Wisdom 
a house is built* with Understanding it is established* and with 
Knowledge its rooms are filled' 1 (Proverbs 24:3*4), 


Table 6. 

The ten Sefirot. 


1 . 

Keter 

Crown 

2. 

Chakhmah 

Wisdom 

3. 

Binah 

JDaalj; 

Understanding 

[Knowledge] 

; 4, 

Chescd 

Love 

5, 

Gevurah 

Strength 

6. 

Tiferet 

Beauty 

7* 

Netzach 

Victory 

8. 

Hod 

Splendor 

9, 

Yesod 

Foundation 

10 , 

Malkhut 

Kingship 








Figure /, The Sefirot- 


Copy righted material 



Chapter One 


25 


All of these sources list three qualities—Wisdom, Uoderstatid¬ 
ing, and Knowledge. Know3edge t however, is not a Scfirah, but 
merely the point of confluence between Wisdom and Understanding. 
In many ways, however, it behaves as a Sefirah. and it is thus often 
included among them. 32 

The next seven Sefinot are named in the verse. "Yours 0 God 
arc the Greatness (4)* the Strength (5), the Beauty (6) t the Victory (71 
and the Splendor (8), for All (9) in heaven and in earth; Yours O God 
is the Kingdom (10)..,” (1 Chronicles 29:11). H It is here that the 
names of all the lower Sefirot are defined. See figure I on page 24. 
In most sources, however, the first of these is called Chesed (Love) 
instead of Gedukh (Greatness). Similarly, the sixth is called Yesod 
(Foundation) rather than 'AH'* In older Kabbalistic texts, however, 
both designations arc used. 

According to some Kabbalists. the Ten Sefiroi also parallel the 
JO Hebrew vowels.* 4 Together wtLli the 22 letters, they then comprise 
the totality of the Hebrew language. 


Of Nothingness 

The Hebrew word here is Beli-mah (rota). This word can also 
be translated as meaning dosed, abstract, absolute or ineffable. 

This word occurs only once in scripture, in the verse, "He 
stretches the north on Chaos, He hangs the earth on Nothingness 
(Beli-mah)” (Job 26:7), According to many commentaries, the word 
Bdi-mah is derived from the two words. Belt , meaning “without,” 
and Mah, meaning “what™ or "anything,” The word Beli-mah would 
then mean "without anything," or "nothingness,™ 5 * 

According to this inierpretion, the designation "Sefirot of Noth¬ 
ingness™ is used to indicate that the Seflrot are purely ideal concepts, 
without any substance whatever. Unlike letters which have form and 
sound, the Sefirot have no intrinsic physical properties. As such, they 
are purely conceptual. 

Other sources state that Betimaft comes from the root Balam 
(nbs), meaning "to bridle.” This is found in the verse, "Do not be tike 
a horse or mule, who do not understand, whose mouth must be bri¬ 
dled (balam) with bit and rein” (Psalms 32:9). Se 

This second interpretation seems to be indicated by the Sefer 
Yetzirah itself since it later says. “Bridle ( balom} your mouth from 
speaking of them” (1:8). According to this, Belimab would be trans¬ 
lated as "ineffable.™ The text is speaking of “Ten Ineffable Sefirot," 
indicating that they cannot be described in any manner whatever. 


Copyrighted materia 



SEFfcR VETZIRAH 


2h 



Figure 2, Ten points linked by 22 fines. There are three horizontals, 
seven verticals* and twelve diagonals. 

Similarly, The Biblical verse. “He hangs the earth on the ineffable*" 
would mean that the forces which uphold creation cannot be 
described/** 

According to both interpretations, the Sefirot are distinguished 
from the letters. While the letters arc primarily modes of expression, 
the Scfirot are inexpressible by their very nature. 

A leading Kabbalist, Rabbi Jssac of Aoco(l250-134QX points out 
that Betimah has a numerical value of B7. God’s name ELohim, on 
the other hand, has a value of 86. Belimah thus represents the stage 
immediately following the pure essence of the Divine,* 1 

22 Foundation Letters 

In the simplest sense, these are called Foundation letters because 
it was through the letters of the Hebrew alphabet that the universe 
was created.’''The Sefer Yetzirah itself therefore says of the letters, 
"with them He depicted all that was formed, and all that would ever 
be formed'* (2:2). This is also alluded to in what the Talmud says of 
the builder of the Tabernacle, “BetzaJel knew how to permute the let¬ 
ters with which heaven and earth were made,” 60 

With each act of creation, the Torah reports that "God said," 
Thus, “God said: let there be light," and “God said, let there be a 
firmament." The decrees through which God brought creation into 
being consisted of sayings. These in turn consisted of words, and 
these words were formed out of letters. Hence, it was through the 
letters of the alphabet that the universe was created* 


'” r f J J 


riqhfod 



Chapter One 


27 


These Iciiers of creation were not only responsible for the incep¬ 
tion of the world, but lhey also constantly sustain it. It is thus written, 
“Forever, D God, Your word stands in the heavens" (Psalms 119:89), 
The very words and letters with which the universe was created are 
also the ones which constantly sustain it. if these words and letters 
were withdrawn for even an instant + the universe would cease to 
exist , 61 

Thus, if one knows how to manipulate the letters correctly, one 
can also manipulate the most elemental forces of creation. The meth¬ 
ods of doing this comprise the main subjects of Sefer Yctzirah. 

In Hebrew, “Foundation Letters 11 is Ofioi Yesod. This tan also 
be translated, “Letters of Foundation.” 

in the Kabbalah, Foundation (Yesodl is the Sefirah that corre¬ 
sponds to the sexual organ. It therefore has the connotation of coup¬ 
ling and pairing, usually Tor the purpose of procreation. 

The letters are said to pertain to Foundation (Yesodk since it is 
only through the letters that Wisdom and Understanding can come 
together and be coupled. As discussed earlier, Wisdom is pure non¬ 
verbal thought. Understanding, on the other hand. can only be ver¬ 
bal, since if an idea cannot be expressed verbally, it cannot be under¬ 
stood. The only link between nonverbal Wisdom, and verbal 
Understanding, consists of the letters of the alphabet. 

This is also evident from the above mentioned Talmudic teach¬ 
ing. The Talmud states that, “Betzalel knew how io permute the let¬ 
ters with which heaven and earth were made. 11 This is derived from 
the verse where God says of Betzald. “1 will fill him with the spirit 
of God. with Wisdom, with Understanding, and with Knowledge" 
(Exodus 31:3), 

We therefore see that the ability to manipulate the letters of cre- 
aiion depends on “Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge " Know-l¬ 
ed gc iDaaty however, is the point at which W isdom and Understand¬ 
ing come together If has the connotation of joining and intercourse, 
as in the verse, "Adam knew his wife Eve” (Genesis 4: l).* 1 Knowledge 
therefore serves in the place of Foundation between Wisdom and 
Understanding. It is in this same context that the Sefer Yet zi rah 
speaks of “Letters of Foundation, 1 ’ 

In a more general sense, the letters serve to pairoff and connect 
all the Sefirot, This is particularly true in the “Tree of Life” shown 
in figure 3 (page 24k which shall be discussed in detail. 

Three Mothers 

These are the three letters, Alef (wh Mem (a), and Shin (wl They 
will be discussed at length in Chapter Three, These letters are called 



2S 


SEFER YETZIRAH 




PomlS 

(SefirOI) 

4 


7 


Horizontals 

Verticals 

Diagonals 

Total 

4 Mol hers) 

(Doubles) 

(Etc men cals) 

(Letters) 

1 

1 

4 

t 

2 

4 

a 

14 



General 





In + l n 3n - 1 4r Sn - 2 


Natural Array 


According, to the older R abba lists 


According [0 (he Sated School* based on the Zahar (1:54b). 

Cf Parties Rimwim 7:3, 


Figure _L Family of diagrams. 





































Chapter One 


29 



Figure 4, The 32 paths us defined by the Art , 







30 


SEFER VETERAN 



Figure 5. The J2 paths according to the Gra „ 














Chapter One 


33 


"Mothers" because they are primary, Essentially, Alef is the first let¬ 
ter of the alphabet, Mem is the middle letter, and Shin is the second 
from the last,* 1 The reason why Tav (n) — the last letter of the alpha¬ 
bet — is not used is because it is one of the Doubles. 

One reason why these letters are called "Mothers*’ is because, in 
general, the letters are derived from Understanding (Binuh). As dis¬ 
cussed earlier. Understanding is the primary' feminine principle, and 
is therefore called Mother. This is alluded to in the verse, “For you 
shall call Understanding a Mother" {Proverbs 2:3). w Since these are 
the primary letters, they are called the “Mothers.’' 65 

These letters arc also called mothers (luot) in the same sense 
that a crossroad is called a “mother of the road* (Ezekiel 21:26). fl6 
These three letters are called "crossroads,* since they form the hori¬ 
zontal links between the Sefirot in the Tree of Life diagram. On a 
more basic level, these are “mothers.” because the number of hori¬ 
zontal links defines the order of the array, as discussed below. 


Seven Doubles 

These are the seven letters that can express two sounds: Bet (i), 
Gimcl (J), Dale! (l>, Kaf (i), Peh (&), Resh (^ T and Tav {n}. 

The FlememaEs are the twelve remaining letters, which have a 
single sound. These two groups wiU be discussed in chapters four and 
five, respectively. 




Figure 6. The paths defined by the Ora. m they appear in the Warsaw. 
1884 edition, ip. 26b of Part Two J. 




n 


SEFER VETZ1RAH 


tf we draw icn points in three columns in the simplest manner, 
we see that they are automatically Jinked by 22 lines. Of these, three 
are horizontal, seven are vertical, and twelve are diagonal as shown 
in figure 2 on page 26. The division presented by Sefer Yeotirah is 
therefore a natural consequence of the array. This figure can actu¬ 
ally be looked upon as a member of a family of diagrams- The order 
of the diagram is then determined by the number of horizontal 
links. 

In practice, for reasons dealing with the basic nature of the 
Sefirov they are not arranged in this natural order, but have the mid¬ 
dle line lowered somewhat. There arc several different ways that the 
KabhaLists assign the letters in these diagrams. These are shown in 
figures 3-6. 



won -wp "isoaa rrrpp te?p 

rbm yvoao iron w mat ran im 
nipon nVaai pwbr\ 


Ten Sefirot of Nothingness 

in the number of ten fingers 
five opposite five 
with a singular covenant 
precisely in the middle 
m the circumcision of the longue 
and in the circumcision of the membrum. 


The number of ten fingers 

Creation is said to have been accomplished with God's fingers* 
as it is wrilteo, “When I sec Your heavens, the work of Your fingers" 
{Psalms 8:4). The 10 numerical digits similarly* parallel the ten fingers 
in man. The five fingers of the hand contain a tola! of fourteen boncs. 
This is the numerical value for Yod (T} t the Hebrew word for hand. 


Copyrighted material 



Chapler One 


31 


Five opposite live 

Although the Sefirot arc usually divided into three columns, they 
can also be arranged in two arrays, one to the right, and the other to 
the left. The “‘masculine" Sefirot on the right side would then be all 
those normally on the right, as well as the upper two center Sefirot. 
The “feminine" Sefirot on the left would include the three normally 
on the left, together with the lower two center Sefirot. ftT 

The five masculine Scfirot are often referred to as the five Loves 
(Chasidim), since they are on the side of Chesed {Love). The five 
feminine Scfirot are similarly called the five Strengths {Gevurofy 
because they are on the side of Gevurah (Strength). Sec figure 7 on 
page 34. 

When the Sefirot are in their norma! state, arrayed in three col¬ 
umns. they are in a state of equilibrium. But when the Scfirot of the 
central column are moved to the right and left, so as to divide the 
Scfirot into two arrays, a powerful tension i$ produced. When they 
are in such a mode, powerful spiritual forces can be directed and 
channeled. 

Therefore, in many places where God interferes directly with the 
physical world, the scripture speaks of God’s fingers or hands. The 
most obvious case occurs with reference to creation itself, which the 
Psalmist calls “the work of Your fingers," as quoted above. We simi¬ 
larly find. "My [left] hand has founded the earth, and My right hand 
has spread out the heavens” (Isaiah 48:13). Before such a creative act 
could take place, all the Sefirot had to be polarized to male and 
female sides, generating tension and force. Just as human procreation 
involves male and female, so does Divine creation. 

Very closely related to this are the various actions that use the 
hands to channel spiritual forces. These include the laying of hands, 
the lifting of the hands in Ihe Priestly Blessing, and the spreading of 
the hands in prayer. In all these cases, the intent is to channel the 
power of the Ten Sefirot through the ten fingers.** In making them 
correspond to the two hands, the Sefirot are polarized, creating spirit¬ 
ual tension. See figure 8 on page 34, Once such tension exists, 
through meditation and concentration, the powers of the Sefirot can 
be focused and channeled. 


And a singular covenant 

The Hebrew here is Bm Yachid Some read Bril Yichud, "a unify¬ 
ing covenant,” but the meaning is similar, 1 * A similar concept is 
found in the last chapter with regard to Abraham (6:7), In general, a 



SEFER YETZ1RAH 


34 

covenant (brit) is something that comes between two separate parts. 
The paradigm of a covenant is that which God made with Abraham 
when he commanded him. “Take to Me a prime heifer, a prime 
female goat a prime ram t a turtle dove, arid a voting pigeon" {Gene¬ 
sis 15:9).^ These five animals paralleled the five fingers. Three of 
the animals were divided in half, so that the six halves represented 
the six Sefiroi that are normally to the right and left. The four halves 
of the birds, which were not divided, represented the Four Sefiittt 
which arc normally in the center line, See figure 9, 

Fcimnine Strengths t Left I Masculine Loves [ Right) 

kcler 

Binah Chakhmah 

Gevurah Chesed 

Hod Tiftm 

Yesod Ncuach 

MaUthul 



Figure 7 . Masmline and feminine Sefiror 



Figure’ 8. Polarizing the ten Sefiroi through the ten fingers 


rJ 



Chapter One 



Figure 9, Abraham s covenant. 


35 


Turtle Dove 


Heifer 


Female Goat 


Ram 

Young Pigeon 


The two tablets containing the Ten Commandments were also 
called The "Tablets of the Covenant” (Deuteronomy 9:9). It was for 
this reason that they were given as two tablets, rather than as a single 
one. 

When the Ttn Scfirot are divided into this double array* the 
place in the middle becomes the focus of spiritual tension. This place 
is then called the '‘singular covenant” or “unifying covenant.* 


Circumcision of the Tongue 

The Hebrew word for "circumcision" is Miiah. This same word, 
however, also means "word.” as we find, "God's spirit speaks in me* 
and His word (miiah) is on my tongue 7 ’ (2 Samuel 23:2)* Hence this 
can also be translated, “a word of the longue.” The “circumcision of 
the tongue* refers to the ability to utilize the mysteries of the Hebrew 
language." 1 It also refers to the ability to probe the mysteries of the 
Torah. 73 

In a more general sense, such circumcision denotes a fluency of 
speech. One who cannot speak properly is said to have 
"tincircumcised lips* Moses thus said* “How will Pharoah listen to 
me. when I have uncircumeised lips?* (Exodus 6:12). When one is 
given the power of proper speech, his tongue is said to be circum¬ 
cised. This is both the “circumcision* and the “word* of the 
tongue. 

A good example of this is found in the Priestly Blessing, Here, 
the priests raise their hands and pronounce the blessing outlined in 



36 


S£FER YFTZfFUH 


scripture (Numbers 6:22-27), The priests must raise their hands so 
that they are precisely level with the mouth, as it is written, "Aaron 
lifted up his hands toward the people, and he blessed them” (Leviti- 
cus 9:22).^ The cohcn-priest must concentrate on the fact that his 
ten fingers represent the Ten Sefirot. As a result of the focus of spirit¬ 
ual force between his two hands, his tongue is “circumcised," and his 
blessing has its proper effect. 

The same is true of raising one’s hands in prayer. Here again, 
the two hands focus sprit us I power so as to “circumcise” the tongue, 
allowing the individual to pray effectively. In some Kabbalistic medi¬ 
tative systems, the raised hand position was likewise used to focus 
spiritual energy. 7 * It was for a very simitar reason that the cohen- 
priests had to wash their hands and feet before engaging in the divine 
service. 75 

This also provides insight into the significance of the two Cheru¬ 
bim that were on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. 
These two Cherubim were the source of all prophecy. Prophecy 
involves a particularly intense focusing of spiritual energy, allowing 
the prophet to actually speak in God's name, Prophecy was thus the 
ultimate level of “circumcision of the tongue.” 

In describing the Ark, God told Moses, *T will commune with 
you. and I will speak to you from above the ark-cover, from between 
the two Cherubim, which are on the Ark of Testimony" (Fxodus 
25:22k 7 * What was true of Moses was also true of the other prophets, 
and the influx of prophecy was channeled primarily through these 
two Cherubs in the Holy of Holies, There is some evidence that at 
least tn some cases, the prophetic experience was the result of intense 
meditation of these two Cherubim, 77 When the Cherubim were 
removed from the Holy of Holies with the destruction of the First 
Temple, prophecy as such ceased to exist. 

According to the Zahar, the two Cherubim represented the 
Sefirot divided into a masculine and feminine array. 79 These were 
placed on the Ark + which contained the original Tablets of the Ten 
Commandments. There were five Commandments on each tablet, so 
the two represented a similar array of the Sefirot. This created a per¬ 
manent state of tension, through which the spiritual force associated 
with prophecy could be focused. 


Circumcision of the Memhrum 

Just as the fingers of the two hands represent the Ten Sefirot, so 
do the toes oT the two feet. Between the legs is the circumcision of 
the sexual organ. 


Tiqhh 



Chapter One 


3? 


In order to understand the significance of this circumcision, one 
must realize why God commanded that it be done on the eighth day. 
The Torah states, *On the eighth day. the flesh of his foreskin must 
be circumcised 1 ' (Leviticus 12:3),®° The covenant of circumcision was 
originally given to Abraham, 

The world was created in sis days, representing the six primary 
directions that exist in a three-dimensional universe. The seventh 
day, the Sabbath, is the perfection of the physical world, and it repre¬ 
sents the focal point of these si* directions, as discussed below (4:4). 
The eighth day then represents a step above the physical, inlo ihe 
realm of the transcendental.* 1 

Through the covenant of circumcision, God gave Abraham and 
his dependents power over the transcendental plane. The most obvi¬ 
ous case in which this occurs is in conception* where a soul is brought 
dow n into the world. Since the mark of the covenant is on the sexual 
organ, it gives the individual access to the highest spiritual realms, 
from which he can draw down the most lofty souls. 

By meditating on the fact that the ten toes represent the Ten 
SefiroL one is able to concentrate spiritual energy into the sexual 
organ 12 Through such methods, one can gain complete control 
over one's sexual activities, even in the midst of intercourse.* 3 By 
sanctifying oneself in this manner during sexual intercourse, one 
is able to determine the qualities of the child that will be 
conceived.® 4 

The covenam of circumcision also represents the channeling of 
sexual energy. The sexual drive is one of the most powefut psycholog¬ 
ical forces in man, and when it is channeled along spiritual lines, it 
can help bring one to the highest mystical states. In giving the com¬ 
mand mem of circumcision, God indicated that the emotions and 
desires associated with sex could be used for the mystical quest of 
the Divine on a transcendental plane. 

The juxtaposition betw een the "‘circumcision of the longue" and 
the "circumcision of ihe membmm" explains the prophetic position 
favored by Elijah. The scripture stales. * Elijah went up to the top of 
the Carmel* entranced himself on the ground, and placed his face 
between his knees™ (I Kings 18:42). This position was used for the 
intense concent ration of spiritual energy, According to the Midrash, 
this position was used because it placed the head in conjunction with 
the mark of circumcision. 113 

When one is in this position* all of these forces are brought 
together. The ten fingers, ten toes, tongue and sexual organ comprise 
a total of 22 elements, paralleling the 22 letters of the Hebrew alpha¬ 
bet. 86 The individual's body itself thus becomes an alphabet, with 
which he can "write" in the spiritual realm. 




5EFER YETZ1RAH 


33 



nSi irp j wn kVi npy ncra jyitsc ie?p 
prn nrja. 03m nzonz pn mrp nn« 
isn* awn no by *01 mpm ano mpm ona 

bp 


Ten 

ffji aW flor nifte 
(m not eleven 
Understand with Wisdom 
Be wise with Understanding 
Examine with them 
and probe from them 
Make / each/ thing stand on its essence 
And make the Creator sit on His base., 


This section speaks primarily of the first three Sefirot, Keter 
{Crownh Cbakhmah {Wisdom), and BEmail (Understanding). Later, 
we find a similar discussion with regard to the lower seven Sefirot 
<4:5). 


Ten and not nine 

The highest faculty in man is will. This corresponds 10 the first 
of the Sefirot, Keter (Crown), 

If one were to attempt to describe God, it would be tempting to 
say that He is pure Will. This would be very much like saying that 
God is “spirit," or that He is “lave*” since all such descriptions 
attempt to depict God in terms of human traits. If any human trait 
were to be used, however, it should be will since this is the highest 
of all human faculties. 

If we would say that God was pure Will, however, then we would 
be saying that He is identical with Keter. Keter, however, is merely 
a Scfirah, and as such, it is something created by God and inferior 
to Him, We therefore cannot even say that God in pure Will. Even 
Will is among His creations, and is inferior to Him, Therefore, there 
is no word that can be used to describe God's essence. 

The author consequently slates that the Sefirot are “ten and not 
nine." For if we were to say that God is WHL then Keter would be 
identical to God, and only nine Sefirot would remain. But since there 


opy 


righted 


r ia 



Chapter One 


59 


are ten Sefirot, then even Will is nothing more than a Sefirah, and it 
is something that is inferior to the Creator. 

The Sefer Yetzirah also warns, “ten and not eleven." This is to 
teach that God Himself, the Infinite Being, is not to be included 
among the Sefirot. If He were, then there would be eleven rather than 
ten ,* 7 

God belongs to a totally different category than the Sefirot, and 
is not to be counted among them. As a result, we cannot even 
describe Him by such purely abstract qualities as will, wisdom, love 
or strength. When the Bible makes use of any of these qualities in 
relation to God. tl is speaking of the Sefirot created by God, and not 
of the Creator Himself. 

This is particularly important for the mystic. As a person reaches 
the highest levels, he might think that he is actually reaching God 
Himself. The Sefer Yetzirah therefore warns that when one climbs 
the ladder of the Sefirot, there are only ten steps, and not eleven. The 
C reator is always beyond our grasp. 

It is for this reason that God is called Ain Sof, literally “the Infi¬ 
nite.'’ One can climb higher and higher, reaching toward infinity, but 
one can never attain it. Infinity may remain a goal, but it is only a 
goal that points to a direction, but not a goal that acually can be 
reached The same is true of the Infinite Ain Sof.®' 1 

Understand with Wisdom 

As discussed earlier. Understanding (Btnah) involves verbal 
thought, while Wisdom [Chakhmah) is pure nonverbal thought. 
Understanding consists of the normal reverie, where the person thinks 
out things so as to understand and organize the thoughts. Wisdom, on 
the other hand, is pure thought, and in particular, it refers to a state 
of consciousness where the mind is not engaged in reverie. 

It is very difficult to experience pure, nonverbal thought. As soon 
as a person attempts to dear his mind of thought, he immediately 
begins to think, “Now l am not thinking of anything" The slate of 
Wisdom or Chakhmah consciousness is one of pure nonverbal 
thought, which is very difficult to attain* 

It is in an attempt to attain the state of Chakhmah consciousness 
that the various meditative methods are used. Thus* mantra medila- 
lion attempts to clear the mind of reverie by filling it with the 
repeated words of the mantra. Similarly, contemplation pursues the 
same goal by filling the mind with the contemplated object. 

Wisdom is associated with the nonverbal right hemisphere of the 
brain, while Understanding is associated with the verbal left hemi¬ 
sphere. As the Kabbalisis explain. Wisdom is normally only expert- 


J 



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40 


SEFER YFFZIRAii 


enced when it is clothed in Understanding. One may be able to expe¬ 
rience the workings of the nonverbal areas of the mind, but only 
when one clothes them with verba] thoughts. 

It is here that the Sefer Yetzirah begins instruction on how to 
grasp the SefiroL** 

The first step is to. “Understand with Wisdom, and to be wise 
with Understanding.” This involves a deliberate oscillation between 
Undemanding and Wisdom, between verbal Binah consciousness, 
and nonverbal Chakhmah consciousness. 

Try for a moment to stop thinking. You remain completely con¬ 
scious. but there are no verbal thoughts in your mind. If you are an 
average person, you may be able to maintain such a state for a few 
seconds, but immediately your mind begins to verbalize the experi¬ 
ence* You might say to youself, “I am not thinking of anything." But 
as soon as you do this, of course, you actually are thinking of 
something. 

For those few seconds, however, you have experienced nonverbal 
Chakhmah consciousness. If you work at this exercise, you can gradu¬ 
ally learn how to extend the time in which you are in this state. It is 
like a heavy- pendulum, the longer you push it back and forth, the 
further it will swing. Similarly* the more you learn to oscillate 
between verba] Bin ah consciousness and nonverbal Chakhmah con¬ 
sciousness, the deeper you will reach into the latter, and the longer 
you will be able to maintain this state, 

Chakhmah consciousness is particularly important in reaching 
the Sefirot, As mentioned earlier (1:2), the Sefirot are ineffable, and 
cannot be understood verbally, As the Sefer Yetzirah itself says, they 
must be reached by “paths of Wisdom.” that is, through the paths of 
nonverbal Chakhmah Consciousness, 


Examine with them 

A similar expression is later used with regard to the lower Sefirot 
(4:5). 

Once an individual is able to experience the Sefirot, he must 
make use of them to examine and test them. The author does not say 
"examine them," but “examine with them,” The Hebrew word used 
here is Baehart, and it means that one is to test things for their intrin¬ 
sic quality as they arc at the immediate moment. 1 " 

When a person has an awareness of the Sefirot, he can then 
"examine"' anything in creation and determine the Sefirah to which 
it pertains. As he becomes proficient in doing this, he can use various 



Chapter Onr 


43 


things to strengthen his attachment to their associated Sefirah. When 
the Sefer Yetzirah was first written* each individual had to do this 
on his own. Now, however, there are many lists which associate vari¬ 
ous things and ideas wiih their appropriate Sefirot and these can be 
used as aids in binding oneself to them. 91 


Probe from them 

The Hebrew word for ‘‘probe' 1 here is Chakar , which usually 
indicates attaining the ultimate knowledge of a thing. 92 

The Sefer Yetzirah says that one should “probe .from them. 11 As 
a result of the spiritual power that one attains from the Sefirat, one 
should probe each thing to its ultimate depth. Through one’s experi¬ 
ence of the Sefirot, one is to gain the deepest possible insight into 
everything in the world. 

Note carefully that the Sefer Yetzirah does not tell us to contem¬ 
plate the Sefirot themselves. Rather, it instructs us to use them in 
developing an inner sight with which to view the world.” 


Make [each] thing stand on its essence 

In this manner, one can learn how to perceive the essential 
nature of each thing. 99 The Sefer Yetzirah says* “make each thing 
stand on its essence" so as to parallel the next phrase, “make the Cre¬ 
ator sit on His base*” 

The Sefer Yetzirah is also indicating here that when a person per¬ 
ceives the true spiritual nature of a thing, he also elevates that thing 
spiritually* “Standing" refers to such elevation. The expression, 
“make each thing smnd" therefore says that when one “probes from 
them," he elevates the things that he probes. 


Make the Creator sit on His Base 

The Hebrew word for "base" here is Afakhon, and in a number 
of places it is seen as the place where God “sits " Thus, in bis prayer, 
Solomon speaks of “the heaven, the base { makhon ) of Your sitting" 
(1 Kings 8:39). The scripture likewise states, “Righteousness and 





42 


SEFER YETZIIUH 


Table 7. The four urn verses. 


Universe 

Content 

Level 

Amlut (Nearness, 
Emanation) 

Sefirot 

Nothingness 

Ben yah (Creation) 

The Throne 

Something from Nothing 

Yel zi rah (Forma i ion) 

Angels 

Something from 
Something 

Asiyah (Making. 
Action) 

Shade of the 
physical 

Completion 


judgement are the base (makhon) of Your Throne'" (Psalms 89:15), 
lit other places, the Bible speaks of the Temple as being the “base* 
upon which God sita** 3 

The word Makhon {poa) comes from the root Kon (po), which 
is also the root of the word Hekhtn meaning “to prepare,” 9 * 
Hence, Makhon refers not merely lo a physical base, but to one 
that is specifically prepared for a special purpose. The Scripture 
thus says, “He founded the earth on its base (makh&n) 7 ' (Psalms 
ID4:5>. This verse indicates that everything in the physical world 
has a specific spiritual counterpart and basis, through which it can 
be elevated, 91 

In general, the anthropomorphism *sitr when used with respect 
to God* indicates a sense of lowering. ,s When a person sits down, he 
lowers his body. Similarly, when God “sits." He “lowers* His essence 
so as to be concerned with His creation, When the Bible speaks of 
God's Throne, it is speaking of the vehicle through which He 
e*presses such concern. 

In Kabbalah T there is general rule that every “awakening from 
below* motivates an “awakening from above * Thus, when a person 
mentally elevates each thing to its spiritual essence, he also brings 
spiritual sustenance (shefa) down to that particular object This suste¬ 
nance can then be channeled and used by the individual. Under some 
conditions, this can he used to actually bring about physical changes 
in the world. 99 

The term Makhon is also interpreted by the Talmud to indicate 
a parallelism between the spiritual and the physical domains, 100 The 
“prepared basis" (makhon) through which God “sits' 1 and channels 
His spiritual influence to the world is precisely this Makhon —the 
parallelism between the spin mat and the physical. This is the aspect 
through which God “sits,* and the scripture therefore speaks as the 
“base (makhon) of Your sitting.* 



riohl 




Chapitrr One 


43 


In this context, the Sefer Yetzirah here calls God the Yoizer. Wc 
have translated this as "the Creator," but a more accurate rendition 
would be "the Former/' or the "One who forms." 

In Hebrew, there are three words which have similar meaning. 
They are Bara, meaning "to create," Yatzar. meaning "to form," and 
Astih, meaning “to make." According to the Kabbahsts. Bara indi¬ 
cates creation £¥ nihilo, "something from nothing." Yatzar denotes 
formation of something from a substance that already exists, 
"something from something." Asah has the connotation of the com¬ 
pletion of an action/ 01 

The Kabbah sis teach that stages parallel the three supernal uni¬ 
verses , which are called Seri yah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation), 
and Asiyah (Making), They are alluded to tn the verse, "AH that is 
called in My Name, for My Glory' (Atzilut), I have created it 
(Beriyih), I have formed it (YetzirahX and I have made it (Asiyah)" 
(Isaiah 43;7)J« 

The highest universe is Atziiut, the domain of the Scfirot them¬ 
selves, Below this is Beriyah, the domain of the Throne, Since 
Seriyah (Creation) is “something from nothing," Atzilut is often 
referred to as "Nothingness" {Ayin). Hence, the Sefirot, which are in 
Atzilut, are called Scfirot of Nothingness. 

Below Bcrtyah is the universe of Yctzirah (Formation), which is 
the world of the angels. Finally, there is the universe of Asiyah (Mak¬ 
ing), which consists of the physical world and its spiritual shadow. 
See Table 7, 

Here, Sefer Yetzirah is speaking primarily about establishing a 
link between the two lower worlds, Yetzirah and Asiyah, The meth¬ 
ods of Sefer Yetzirah involve the manipulation of the forces of the 
Universe of Asiyah, and this is the reason for the name of the book, 
The text therefore speaks of God as the Yotzer , the Former, indicating 
His manifestation in the world of Yetzirah. 

From the above mentioned verse, "He founded [yasady the earth 
on its base {Makhon)™ we see that Makhon refers to a spiritual level 
that is close to the physical world, namely, the lowest level of 
Yetzirah. 103 Makhon is on the level corresponding to Yeso 4 (Founda¬ 
tion >, which has the connotation of connecting and binding. Hence, 
it binds Yetzirah to Asiyah, By elevating objects in the physical 
world, one can then draw upon the forces of Yetzirah, the world of 
the angels. 

It is for this reason that the Sefer Yetzirah uses the term .Makhon 
(Base) rather than Throne (Kisey )l The term "Throne" would indicate 
the Uni verse of Beriyab, which is the world of the Throne. Makhon. 
on the other hand, is a level of Yetzirah. 


J 



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44 


St PE R YETZfRAH 


A . r *po onb iiTV pno TurSa jitt» tpjj 
I • O paun ara poiy ™ poijn jwwn poop 

nijra paiyi mm pan? rinn paip cm pmjj jn 
|0 «j *ibo b** -pm jh« cni pmjn pus paiy 
:1V HJT iv wip fiyoa vhM2 Hwvs 


Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: 

Their measure is ten 
which have no end 
A depth of beginning 
A depth of end 
A depth of good 
A depth of erit 
A depth of above 
A depth of below 
A depth of east 
A depth of west 
A depth of north 
A depth qf south 
The singular Mai ter 

God faithful King 
dominates over them all 
from His holy dwelling 
until eternity of eternities. 


Here the Sefer Yetzirah defines the five dimensional continuum 
which is the framework of its system. These five dimensions define 
ten directions, two opposite directions in each dimension. See Table 
8 on page 46. 

The space continuum consists of three dimensions, up-down, 
north-south, and east-west. This continuum is defined by si* direc¬ 
tions, and is called “Universe.'" The time continuum consists of two 
directions, past and future, or beginning and end. This is called 
“year." Finally, there is a moral* spiritual fifth dimension, whose two 
directions are good and evil This is called “soul" 

According to the later Kabbalisls, these ten directions parallel 
the Ten Sefirot in the following mannet 

Beginning Chakhmah (Wisdom) 

End Bmah (Understanding) 



Chapter One 


45 


Good 

Keter (Crown) 

Evil 

Malkhut (Kingship) 

Up 

Nctzach (Victory) 

Down 

Hod (Splendor) 

North 

Gevurah (Strength) 

South 

Chescd (Love) 

East 

Tiferet (Beauty) 

West 

Yesod (Foundation) 


The Ten Scfirm are thus seen as consisting of five sets of opposites. 
These are the ‘‘five opposite five” discussed above (1:3), The oppo- 
sites parallel the five fingers on each oT the two hands. 1 * 3 

Wisdom is always defined as the beginning by the Kabbahsts, 
This is based on such verses as “The beginning is Wisdom” (Proverbs 
4:7), 106 This corresponds to the beginning of existence, before cre¬ 
ation was defined, articulated, or verbalized. 

God then created the world with ten sayings. This represents the 
power of Understanding r Dinah), which is the aspect of verbal 
thought. As discussed earlier, the name Elohim, used in the account 
of creation, represents Understanding. “Sayings" can only come 
about through Undemanding, denoted by the name Elohim. 

Psychologically, Wisdom also represents the past in another 
manner. Memory is not verbal, but is stored in the mind in a nonver¬ 
bal mode. It is only when one brings a memory to the surface that it 
becomes verbalized. Since pure memory is completely nonverbal, it 
is in the category of Wisdom. 

The future, on the other hand, cannot be imagined at all, except 
in verbal terms. One can remember the past, but not the future. The 
future can only be conceived when it is described. The main way in 
which we know the future is by extrapolating from our knowledge of 
the past, or, in the language of the Talmud. “Understanding one thing 
from another. - ' 1107 

Past and future are also the counterparts of Wisdom and Under¬ 
standing insofar that they arc respectively male and female. The past 
is said to be male, since it directly influences the future. In this man¬ 
ner, h is as if the feminine future is impregnated by the past. 

Keter is said to be “good,” since it is the Sefirah closest to God. 
For the same reason. Malkhut, the Sefirah furthest from God t is said 
to be evil. This docs not mean that Malkhut itsdf is actually evil 
since all the Sefirot are completely and absolutely good. However, 





SEFEifi YEfTZIftAH 


Tjble s. The ten directions. 



An 1 

Raava<F 

Isaac 

the Blind’ 

Ramak 4 

Beginning 

Chakhmah 

Chakhmah 

Chakhmah 

Keter 1 

End 

Binah 

Rmah 

Binah 

Malkhut 

Good 

Keter 

Chescd 

[Chcsed] 

Chakhmah 

Evil 

Malkhut 

Gevurah 

{Malkhut] 

Binah 

Up 

Nctzach 

Keter 

[Keier| 

Nelzach 

Down 

Hod 

Malkhut 

Yesod 

Hod 

Eust 

Tiferet 

Tiferet 

Tiferet 

Tiferet 

West 

Yesod 

Yesod 

Netzich 

Yesod 

North 

Gevurah 

Neizach 

Gevurah 

Gevurah 

South 

Chescd 

Hod 

Hod 

Chescd 


1 S« nott 104 (n tm. 

; R*ividi. Kjmhjn 1 1). Otsar HaShem, arf toe Partin M 

1 yrfirtoft &ld Sakot, ad he. 

1 /Ylrdrt Htmonim end, fiwn T^ujwtl Zobar ] Si.b, >0 t, 12541 

since Malkhut points in the direction away from God, it is said tg 
denote the direction of evil* 

The entire array of the Sefirot is often called ihc “Tree of Life," 
The center line, from Keter to Malkhut, when taken alone, is called 
the “Tree of Knowledge." It is on this line that good and evil come 
logether. this being the mystery of the '‘Tree of Knowledge of Good 
and Evil" (Genesis 2:9), of which Adam and Eve were commanded 
not to partake." 1 * h is in the quasi-Sefi rah of Knowledge (Daal) that 
good and evil converge. Because of this, some of ihr later Kabbah sis 
place the “depth of good and depth of evil" both in Knowledge 

(DaatV* 

There arc 32 hyperquad rams that can be defined in a five- 
dimensional hyperspace. These correspond to the 32 apexes on a five* 
dimensional hypcrcube. as discussed above (1:1). These in turn are 
related to the 32 paths of Wisdom, See Table 9. 

In general, a knife or cutting blade has one dimension less than 
the continuum that it cuts. In our 1 hree-dimensianal continuum, a 
blade is essentially a two-dimensional plane. Therefore, in a five- 
dimensional continuum* one would expect a blade to have four 
dimensions. Such a blade would be a four-dimensional hypercube, 
having 16 apexes. The Midrash states that God’s sword has 16 edges, 
indicating that it is indeed a four-dimensional hypercube, M0 





Chapter One 


47 


Table 9. The 32 hyperquadrants, 


l 

Keter 

Chakhmah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Nelzach 

2 

Keter 

Chakhmah 

Chesed 

Tiferci 

Hod 

3 

Keter 

Cbakhmah 

Chesed 

Yesod 

Netzach 

4 

Keter 

Chakhmah 

Chcsed 

Yesod 

Hod 

5 

Keter 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Tiferet 

Nelzach 

6 

Keter 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Tiferet 

Hod 

7 

Keter 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Netzach 

8 

Keter 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Hod 

9 

Keter 

Btnah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Netzach 

10 

Keter 

Binah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Hod 

11 

Keter 

Btnah 

Chesed 

Yesod 

Netzach 

12 

Keter 

Btnah 

Chesed 

Yesod 

Hod 

13 

Keter 

Binah 

Gevurah 

Tiferet 

Netzach 

| 14 

Keter 

Btnah 

Gevurah 

Tiferci 

Hod 

15 

Keter 

Btnah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Netzach 

16 

Keter 

Binah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Hod 

17 

MaEkhul 

Chakhmah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Netzach 

IS 

Malkhui 

Chakhmah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Hod 

19 

Malkhui 

Chakhmah 

Chesed 

Yesod 

Netzach 

20 

Malkhui 

Chakhmah 

Chesed 

Ye sad 

Hod 

21 

Malkhui 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Tiferet 

Netzach 

22 

Malkhui 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Tiferet 

Hod 

23 

Malkhui 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Netzach 

24 

Malkhui 

Chakhmah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Hod 

25 

Malkhui 

Binah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Netzach 

26 

Malkhnt 

Binah 

Chesed 

Tiferet 

Hod 

27 

Matkh m 

Binah 

Chesed 

Yesod 

Netzach 

2S 

Malkhui 

Binah 

Chesed 

Yesod 

Hod 

29 

Malkhui 

Binah 

Gevurah 

Tiferet 

Netzach 

30 

Malkhui 

Binah 

Gevurah 

Tiferet 

Hod 

39 

Malkhui 

Binah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Netzach 

32 

Malkhui 

Binah 

Gevurah 

Yesod 

Hod 






48 


5EFER VETZIRAH 


Their measure is ten * which have no end 

The Sefer Yetzirah docs not say* ^Itieir number is ten," bul T 
“their measure is ten,” What it is saying is that the Sefirot define a 
continuum of ten directions or five dimensions, 

Each of these directions is said to be Infinite and endless. Indeed, 
in saying that “they have no end,™ the Sefer Yetzirah uses the term, 
** Ain (fa-hem) Sof. *" This is the term usually used for God, the Infinite 
Being. Each direction extends without limit, and in this respect, the 
Sefarat share a property with the Infinite Being," 1 

The initiate is here given an allegory through which he or she 
can perceive his or her path to the Infinite Being, The allegory con¬ 
sists of any of the directions. Thus, for example, U up" has no end. 
Qne can continue to travel in an upward direction, but can never 
actually reach “up.* The same is true when one navels “up" 
spiritually. 


A depth of beginning 

The Sefer Yetzirah does not speak of directions, but of depths. 
In general, the concept of depth indicates something at a great dis¬ 
tance, as when one looks down a deep well* gazing at its “depth.” It 
therefore denotes great distance* both physical and mental. There¬ 
fore, an idea that is difficult to understand, and far from one’s com¬ 
prehension. is also said to be deep. 

There are many examples of this in scripture. We thus find, “The 
heavens for height, the earth for depth, and the heart of kings has no 
probing" (Proverbs 25:3). Regarding Wisdom. Kohelet likewise said, 
“It is deep* deep, who can find it” {Ecclesiastes 7:24). In particular* 
the word “depth* is used in relation to the Divine, as in, “How great 
are your works. O God. Your thoughts are very deep” (Psalms 92:6). 
These ten depths therefore represent the ten directions extended to 
infinity. 

It is written. “Counsel in man’s heart is like deep water, but a 
man of understanding w ilt draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). Although the 
depth of these directions is infinite, it can be described mentally. The 
first technique involves verbal thought, through being “a man of 
Understanding." Gradually, then, one can also learn to depict these 
infinite depths nonverbally. 

The first exercise is to try to depict the “depth of beginning," 
Attempt io picture an infinity of time in the past. Let the mind travel 
back to a mmute ago, and hour ago, a day ago. a year ago, continuing 
until you reach a level where you are trying to imagine an infinity 
ago. Then do the same with regard to the future. 



Chapter One 


49 


The next exercise involves trying to imagine infinite good and 
infinite evil. The limits arc pure ideas, which cannot be verbalized. 

Finally, one must imagine the limits of the spatial dimensions. 
One must perceive the height of the sky and beyond the sky. the 
depth of the earth and beyond the earth. 1 !i 

In this manner, one gradually trains the mind to depict the infi¬ 
nite. Since the Sefirot themselves are also infinite, this exercise can 
help one attain communion with the Sefirot. Ilj 

The individual can then team how to climb the Tree of the 
Sefirot, and eventually approach the loftiest spiritual heights. This 
is accomplished through these depths, ll is written, “A song of 
steps, from the depths t call You O God" (Psalms 130:1). One calls 
out to God by meditating on the depths, and then one can ascend 
through a series of steps. The psalm is therefore called “a song of 
steps.” m 


The singular Master 

This can also be read, “The Master is singular.” and a similar 
expression is found below (3;7f 

After describing the five dimensional continuum defined by the 
Sefirot, the Sefer Yeizirah specifically refers to God as the ""singular 
Master,” The Hebrew for “singular” here is Yachid, indicating a com¬ 
plete and absolute unity. 

The unity of God is absolute. He is not like 3 person who consists 
of many parts. He is not even like the most simple physical object, 
since even such an object has three dimensions. To say that God is 
bound by dimensions would in itself introduce an dement of plural¬ 
ity in His essence, and this is excluded. 

After the Sefer Yelzirah has defined the five-dimensional contin¬ 
uum, one might be misled to think that God Himself is a five- 
dimensional being. The text therefore stresses His unity at this point. 
The concept of dimensionality docs not apply to God at ali 


God faithful King 

In Hebrew, ihts is El Melekh Ne'eman (fato -jSc hn) r The initial 
letters of this phrase spell out Amen (jm), and according to the Tal¬ 
mud, it is this phrase that defines the word Amend 1 * 

The statement here that God is "faithful” means that He is acces¬ 
sible only through faith. The human intellect can onh grasp concepts 





50 


SEFER VETZIRAH 


within the five-dimensional continuum of space-ume-spirit. God, the 
Infinite Being, however, is beyond this. He may relate to the universe 
as “King,” but He Himself is above the grasp of our mentality. 


Dominates them all 

The Hebrew word for “dominate" here is MosheL There are two 
synonyms that indicate dominance — Melekh and Moshei A Mekkh 
is a king who interacts with his subjects, and is therefore affected by 
them, A Mashet* on the other hand, is a tyrant and dictator, who 
rules, but is in no way influenced by his subordinates. m 

God is sometimes called a Metekh * but this refers only to His 
actions through Malkbut (Kingship), she lowest of the Set! rot, The 
Infinite Being, however, is actually a Masheh an absolute ruler who 
is in no way affected by His creation. The scripture thus says, “If 
you are righteous, what do you give Him? What does He receive 
from your hand" (Job 35:7)2 11 This is particularly true of God's 
relationship to the Sefirtrt* He is in no way affected or defined by 
them. 


From His holy habitation 

The Hebrew word for “habit at ion" here is Ma'on (ppo). The 
expression “Holy habitation" {Ma’on Kadoak) occurs a number of 
times in the Bible. 114 3t is also used again below (1:12). 

The word Ma'on is defined by the verse, "O God, You base been 
a habitation {ma’on) for us" (Psalms 90:1 j. The Midrash interprets 
(his to indicate that *God is the habitation of the world, and the 
world is not His habitation." 119 God is the “place** of the world, defin¬ 
ing the spaced!me-spint continuum, and He is not defined by any 
continuum whatever* The continuum is contained in God, as it were, 
and He is not contained in the continuum. 

The word Ma on is very closely related to the word Makom 
(CflpO), meaning rt plaee" Makom comes from the root Korn (D^s), 
meaning ’To stand “ Hence* Makom denotes a place in physical 
space, where something can “stand," Ma’on (pyoh on the other hand, 
comes from the same root as Onah (nnp), meaning a “time" or 
“period." Just as Makom defines a point in space, so Ma'on defines 
a point in the space-time continuum. 330 

Thus, when the Sefer Yctzirah says that God dominates the 
SefLrot from His “Holy Ma'on" it is indicating that He is the “place" 
and “habitation” of the five-dimensional continuum. Not only does 


n 


py 



malarial 



Chapter One 


51 


God circumscribe the universe of space, but He even defines time 
and spirit. This is said to be "holy” and as discussed above (1:1), ihc 
word “holy'* (Kudosh) denotes separation from the mundane. The 
Infinite Being is separated from alt the Sefirot, and in relation to 
Him, even the Sefirot are mundane. 


Until eternity of eternities 

In Hebrew, this is Adey Ad (iy ’ur). and this expression occurs 
numerous times in the Bible. |2F 

There are two synonyms which denote eternity. The first is 
LeOlam ^ usually translated as “forever/’ which indicates the end 
point of the time continuum. Often used is the expression LeOlam 
VaEd which means “forever and eternity." The expression 

"eternity," here denotes the realm outside the lime continuum, where 
the concept of time does not exist at all. 

Even tn such a timeless domain, however, there is still a kind of 
hypertime, where events can occur in a logical sequence. The Mid- 
rash calls such hypenime* the “order of lime” (seder reman im). 112 
The expression “eternity of eternities" (Adey Ad) denotes a domain 
that is beyond even such hypenime. 


1 * X pnn nfc-ijD |jv*3Y rto Jin*so 

• O awi «wu ]tu nan pp nnb ps jmSan) 

:onnnrD orr wco ism* nsTO3 rota 1 ?! 


Ten Sefiroi of Nothingness 

Their vision is tike the 'appearance of lightning" 
Their limit has no end 

And fits Word in them is "running and returning" 
They rush to His saying like a whirlwind 

And before His throne they prostrate themselves. 


Their vision 

The word for “vision" here is Tzaftyah , which usually denotes a 
prophetical or mystical vision. The Mckhalot, an ancient mystical 
text which might be contemporary to Sefer Yetzirah, speaks of the 
"vision f tzaftyah) of the Markava/” 1 ^ The Markava is the divine 


py righted materia 



52 


SE FER VETZJRAU 


Chariot seen in Ezekiel"s vision* and the term is used to denote the 
mystical experience on its highest levels. 

The Scfer Yelzirah is now describing how the Sefirot appear 
in a mystical vision. In earlier seel ions* the test spoke of the exer¬ 
cises used to visualize the Sefirot, and now it describes their 
appearance* 

The Bahir, another very ancient text, explains that the word 
Tzafiy^ah, derived from the root Tzafah, indicates that one is looking 
down from a high place* 13- In the previous section* theSefer Yetzirah 
spoke of the Sefirot as ten “depths* 7 * When one looks into a depth, 
however, one is usually looking downward. In the Hekhalot. the my&- 
tical experience is often described as a descent in a downward direc* 
lion, and it is called “descending to the Markava ,,tiJ 

One reason why gazing at the Sefirot is called a “descent" is 
because* in order to accomplish this* one must first attain Chakhmah 
consciousness, as discussed earlier. In the array of the Sefirm* how* 
ever, Chakhmah is the highest, at least of those which are approacha¬ 
ble. In climbing the Tree of the 32 paths of Wisdom* one must begin 
by attaching himsdf to Chakhmah {Wisdom), When this is accom¬ 
plished. one then looks down at the other Sefirot Only then does one 
begin climbing the Sefirot, beginning at the lowest. 

Like th e appearance of lightning 

This is taken from the verse, “And the Chayot, running and 
returning, like the appearance of lightning (baiak)** (Ezekiel 1:14}, 

The word Bazak, which is found only in this one place in the 
Bible* is usually translated as “lightning 1 " or “a spark " 1 -"* According 
to other interpretations, Bazak denotes a Hashing meteor or a burst¬ 
ing bubble, ,3T According to all these opinions, the Sefer Yetzirah is 
staling that the Sefirot can only be \ idealized for an instant, and then 
thev vanish* 

The great Kabbalm. Rabbi Moshc dc Leon (123S-I305)* best 
known as the publisher of the Zohar. offers an interesting analogy . 
When the Sefirot are seen in a mystical vision* their appearance m 
like sunlight reflected on a wall from a bowl of water. As long as the 
bowl is absolutely still, the reflected image is clear* but the slightest 
vibration causes it to break up and oscillate wildly. 

Similarly* a clear vision of the Sefirot would be possible in the¬ 
ory* but only if the mind were absolutely still and calm. The slightest 
exterior thought, however, destroys the image completely* When the 
mind is in a state where it can visualize the Sefirot. it is disturbed 
by the most minute distractions. 



Chapter One 


51 


Their limit has no end 

This is obviously derived from the verse, 'Tor every limit 1 
have seen an end. Your commandment is very broad" {Psalms 
119 : 96 ). 

The Hebrew word for “limit* here is Takhht (jr^on), which also 
means “completion" and "’ultimate." 12 * It is derived from the root 
Kalah (nba), meaning to “complete* or “finish,” as in “the heaven 
and earth were finished (katahy* (Genesis 2:1). The word Takhlit also 
denotes purpose, since when something fulfills its purpose it is said 
to be completed and fulfilled. 

The expression, “theirlimit has no end (ketz)" can be compared 
to the earlier expression, “their measure, . , has no end (sq/)* (1:5), 
Both words, Ken and Sof denote an end. but the shade of meaning 
is somewhat different. 

The word Safin®) is derived from the root Safah (nsro), meaning 
“to cease to exist," The term Ketz (pp) 5 on the other hand, comes from 
Kafzaiz (pip), meaning “io cut off-" 3 * 0 Hence, the end implied by Sof 
is where something ceases to exist, while Ketz implies the point where 
it is “cut off" that is, its extreme boundary or limit. As one authority 
puls it, Sof is the end in relation to that which follows il N and Ketz is 
the end with regard to that which precedes 

When the Sefer Yetzirah spoke earlier of the Sefirot as exten¬ 
sions. the text says thai they have no Sof. This indicates that there is 
no place where they cease to exist, no matter how far out one goes. 
This is the infinity of extension. Similarly, when God is called Ain 
Sof, literally “without Sof " it also means that there is no place where 
He ceases lo exist 11 - 

Here. on the other hand, the Sefer Yetzirah is speaking of the 
Sefirot as they are seen in a mystical vision. The text then says that 
their purpose, completion and outcome have no limit (fcete). Even 
though the Sefirot arc seen only as a flash, there is no limit to the 
insight that they can imbue to the individual, 


His word in them is “running and returning " 

This also alludes to the verse, “And the Chayot miming and 
returning, like the appearance oflightning™ (Ezekiel 1:14). it is dis¬ 
cussed again later (1:8). 



SEFER YETZIRAH 


54 


The phrase "His word" is Devaro (mi). Others, however, voca¬ 
lise ibis Dabru (mi), which means “they speak.’" This line then reads. 
“They speak of them as running and returning. 

This teaches that one cannot focus For any length of tune on 
any of the Srfirot. The mind can concentrate and see them as a 
“flash of lightning," but only for an instant. Then one must return. 
One oscillates between “running” and "returning." peeking for an 
instant, and then immediately returning to one's normal mental 
state*’ M 

The SCahhalists note that “running" denotes Chakhmah* while 
“returning" implies Binah. m 

As discussed earlier, one can only visualize the Sefirot with 
Chakhmah consciousness, through the nonverbal part of the mind. 
.Such Chakhmab consciousness is very difficult to maintain, since the 
mind normally functions in a state of verbal Brnah consciousness. As 
mentioned eariier (1:4), the only way to attain Chakhmah conscious¬ 
ness is to swing back and forth between Cbakhmah and Binah. It is 
only during the instant of pure Chakhmah consciousness that the 
Sefirot can be perceived. 

In Hehrew\ the word "run” is usually Run (pi). Here, however* 
the commentaries note that the roof of the word is Ratza (K3n), and 
this is apparently the only place in the entire Bible where this root is 
found. 1 ** According to the Midrash, this root is related both to Ruiz, 
“to nun.” and to Ratzah (mn)* meaning to “will” or ’’desire." 137 The 
word Ratza !Nin) therefore has the implication of "running with one’s 
wilST or impelling the will to concentrate on something beyond its 
grasp. This indicates the mental effort through which the Scfirot are 
visualized. 

The Sefer Yetzirah relates “running and returning” to speech. 
Speech exists only in relation to Binah consciousness, since this is 
the verbal part of the mind. As long as a person is normally in a slate 
of Binah consciousness, he can only visualize the Sefiroi as a flash, 
“running and returning.” 


They rush to His saying like a whirlwind 

The Sefer Ymirah says that God's “speech in them runs and 
returns/' God's speech can be visualized through the Scfirot. but it 
“runs and returns." 

’’Speech" (Bow) refers 10 the general concept, while a “saying” 
{Mn amar) denotes a particular statement. It is only with regard to 



Chapter One 


55 


the generic “speech” that the Sefirot oscillate; ** running and return 
ing." But when there is a Ma amar, a specific saying or edict, they 
nq longer oscillate, but rush “tike a whirlwind ” 

According to the reading. “His speech in them runs and returns," 
this entire section is speaking of the Sefirot, One normally sees the 
Sefirot “running and returning,” like Hashes of lightning. But when a 
particular edict from God is present, they nq longer oscillate, but pur¬ 
sue it “like a whirlwind.” 

According to the commentaries who interpret this line as “they 
speak of them running and returning." the entire text is speaking of 
“they," namely the masters and prophets. Although they normally 
only visualize the Sefirot “running and returning,' 1 when a specific 
edict from God was heard, they would pursue it like a whirlwind, 
going far beyond their normal bounds. 

The Hebrew word for whirlwind here is Sufah, a term that occurs 
many times in the Bible, 11 * The word Sufah (nsm) comes from the 
root Safah (nco), meaning "to annihilate." Thus, according to many 
commentaries, it is the most powerful and destructive wind possi¬ 
ble. IS * It is also related to the word So/ meaning a limit or 
boundary. As one authority explains, a Sufah is a wind that exceeds 
the normal bounds of natural weather. l4e 

This teaches that when there is an edict from God, the mystic 
can go far beyond the normal bounds to pursue it. The fact that he 
is pursuing a divine “saying” allows him to have access to much 
higher states of consciousness than the normally can attain. 

It is for this reason that many mystics would engage in medita¬ 
tions related to the observance of various commandments. They were 
making use of God's "saying” and edict* and in this manner, were 
able to reach much higher levels than usual- The divine "saying” asso¬ 
ciated with the commandment would also serve to attract the Sefirot 
and make them more accessible. 

There are two types of storm wind, a Sa’arah and a Sufah J Al A 
Saarah is a wind that merely agitates (Su’izr), while a Sufah is a hurri¬ 
cane that sweeps away everything in its path. |j;! 

At the beginning of the mystical experience, Ezekiel says that he 
saw a "storm wind {saarak) coming from the north" (Ezekiel 1:4). 
According to some commentaries, this refers to the agnation of the 
mind when one enters the transcendental realm, 143 

The vehicle through which one rises and enters the mystical 
realm is called a Markavs (chariot), and the art of engaging in this 
practice is called “working in the Chariot” (Ma'aseh Markova).'** It 
is therefore highly significant that the scripture states, “His Chariot 
(markava) is like a whirlwind (Isaiah 66:15)J 4S This indicates 



56 


SEFiER YETZfKAlt 


that the Sufah wmd acts like a Chariot, conveying one into the mysti 
caJ realm, U is a force that carries one beyond the normal limit (sqfl 
into the transcendental 

Saadia Gaon interprets Sufah to denote the dim devils that one 
sees tn small whirlwinds, where the dust assumes many shapes and 
forms. These forms constantly change, and a distinct form lasts only 
for a moment. Similarly* when one visualises the Sefirot. one cart see 
them in many forms, hut like sand devils, they' last only for an 
instant, and then dissolve. 


Before His Throne they prostrate themselves 

As discussed earlier (1:4), when we speak of God as “fitting/' it 
means that He is lowering His essence so as to be concerned with His 
creation. His Throne is the object upon which He sits, and hence, it 
denotes the vehicle of such lowering and concern. 

While “sitting*’ is a lowering that one does on one's own initia¬ 
tive, prostrating oneself and bowing is a lowering that one does 
because of a higher power. The tools of God's concern are the Sefirot, 
since it is through them that He directs the universe* As a result of 
the concept of God's Throne, the Sefirot must also lower their 
essence and interact with the lower world. The Sefer Yetzirah there¬ 
fore says, “before His Throne they prostrate themselves,* 

The universe of the Sefirot is called Atzilul. Below it is Beriyah, 
the world of the Throne, As Ezekiel describes it, Above the firma¬ 
ment that was over their heads was the likeness of a Throne, * . and 
upon the likeness of the Throne, was a likeness of the appearance of 
a Mm" (Ezekiel l;26), The Throne is in the universe of Beriyah, 
while the “Man" on the Throne represents the anthropomorphic 
array of the Sefirot in AiziJut. 

The highest universe that can actually be visualized is Yetzirah. 
the world of the angels. In this world, one can visualize a reflection 
of the Throne, and hence, Ezekiel said that he saw “the likeness of a 
ThroncT One can aho see a “reflection of a reflection* of the Sefirot, 
and he therefore saw. “the likeness of the appearance of a Man* 

When the Sefer Yetzirah says that the Sefirot “prostrate them¬ 
selves," he is indicating that they are reflected m the lower universes. 
Since they prostrate themselves before God's Throne, which is in 
Beriyah, they are even visible in Yetzirah. It is in the universe of 
Yetzirah that a reflection of the Sefirot is visualized. 



Chapter One 


5 ? 



jn^nm fr6nm jsid piyj no^Sn m?fin it?)? 
fw tit pitt^ n^nn mwp mrhvi taion 
:isto nm no im 'xh\ w lS 


7c/i Se/jrfM £>/ jY0rta#**£W 

7%fir etff/ is imbedded in their beginning 
and their beg inrung in their end 
like a flame in a burning coaf 
For the Master is singular 
He has no second 

And before One ; what do you couni? 


Their end is imbedded in {heir beginning 

According to most commentaries, the “beginning” is Keter 
(Crown), while the ~en<T is Malkhut (Kingship), These are the two 
end points of the spiritual dimension. 

In the most basic level, Keter is seen as the concept of Cause, 
while Malkhut is the archetype of Effect, Since a cause cannot exist 
without an effect, and an effect cannot exist without a cause, the two 
are interdependent on each other. 

The Sefer Yeizirah likens this to a "flame bound to a burning 
coal," A flame cannot exist without the coal. and the burning coal 
cannot exist without the flame. Although the coal is the cause of the 
flame, the flame is also the cause of the burning coal Without the 
flame, it would not be a burning coal 

Since Cause cannot exist without Effect. Effect is also the cause 
of Cause, In this sense. Effect is the cause, and Cause is the effect. 
Since beginning and end are inseparable, "their end is imbedded in 
their beginning, and their beginning in their end." 

Thus, even though Keter is Cause and Malkhut is Effect, there 
is also a sense in which Malkhut is the cause of Keter. Often in 
Kabbalah, where such a siiuation exists, Keter is seen as existing on 
a lower level than Malkhut. Thus, for example, Keter of Beriyah is 
below Malkhut of Atzilut. and Keter of Yeizirah is below Malkhut 
of Beriyah. 

As discussed earlier, there is no term that can be used to describe 
Ciod. God Himself cannot even be called the Cause 1 ** A cause is to 
some degree dependent on its effect, and God cannot be dependent 
on anything. The Kabbalists therefore teach that before creating any- 



SEFEK YFTZJRAH 




N 



O 


Figure 10. A circle with O atiJ iV us two antipodal points. 

thing else, God created the concept of “Cause.' p This is the Sefirah 
of Keter (Crown). Keter is also often identified with Will. This, how¬ 
ever, is an anthropomorphism, since m matt, will is the cctKjr of all 
action. 14 ’ 

The Sefer Yetzirah therefore states that "the Master is singular, 
He has no second.” The Sefirot may be interdependent but this does 
not include the Infinite Being. Since God is absolutely unitary. He 
cannot even be called the Cause, since this would imply an effect as 
a “second." 

When we view the Sefirot as being ten directions in a five- 
dimensional continuum, we can also interpret this in another man¬ 
ner, Every pair of Sefirot defines an infinite line, emended infinitely 
in both directions. The end points of such an infinite line, however, 
come together and meet once again at the ''point at infinity." This is 
a fact recognized by mathematicians, and considerable use of the 
“point at infinity"" is found in complex analysis, the calculus of coni’ 
plex numbers. 

Although this is a highly abstract concept, it is not that difficult 
to understand Imagine a circle, with two antipodal points, £>and A. 
Obviously, two lines extending outward from O will once again come 
together at point N. Bui then what happens if we make the circle infi¬ 
nitely large? The larger the circle, the closer the curve approaches a 
straight line. In the limit where the circle becomes infinitely large 
the lines extending outward From point O actually become straight 
Bui still, they come together at point A. This point at infinity is where 
all endpoints meet, 149 See figure 10. 

In our three-dimensional continuum, we can likewise extend all 
lines outward infinitely. The end points of all these lines would then 
be an infinite sphere surrounding all space. However, each opposing 
pair of lines would meet at the point at infinity, and therefore, all 
outgoing lines must meet at this point 141 ' 


I J 





Chapter One 


59 


Thus, in one sense, the entire three-dimensional space contin¬ 
uum can be seen as surrounded by an infinite sphere. In another 
sense, however, this entire infinite sphere can also be represented by 
a single point — the point at infinity, A point, however, is infinitely 
small. Thus, the point at infinity can be seen as being both infinitely 
large and infinitely small at the same time. 

The same argument can easily be extended to the five- 
dimensional hyperspace discussed in Sefer Yetzirah. 

Thus, if every pair of Sefiroi defines an infinite line, the begin¬ 
ning of each line is “imbedded^ in its end. This is true of all the 
Sefiroi. All opposites, in their extreme case, become joined as one. 

One can use this as a meditation. Try to imagine the sphere at 
infinity and ihe poim at infinity, and attempt to perceive how they 
arc actually one. You will then sec that your usual conception of 
space and extension are not as simple as you believe. 

In particular, this is true of the Kxter-Malkhut line. In the direc¬ 
tion of Keter, this line extends infinitely toward God, the ultimate 
Good. 1st the Malkhui direction, it extends infinitely away from God. 
toward ultimate evil. These two end points can also be viewed as the 
ultimately spiritual and the ultimately physical. In this sense, we 
must therefore say that the ultimately physical and the ultimately 
spiritual are “imbedded" in each other. 

In order to understand this more deeply, we must first ask some 
questions. The most basic question is: Why did God create a physical 
world? God created the universe to bestow good to His creation, but 
this good is purely spiritual. This being true, what need is there for 
a physical world? Before we can answer this question, we must first 
ask another question. What is the difference between the material 
and the spiritual? 

We speak of the material and the spiritual as two different con¬ 
cepts, W r e know that the spiritual is not material. Bui precisely what 
is the difference? The answer should be obvious. The main difference 
between the material and spiritual involves space. Physical space 
only exists in the physical world. In the spiritual, there is no space 
as we know it. 

Although concepts oT distance and closeness exist in the spiritual 
realm, they do not have the same meaning as they do in the physical 
world. In a spiritual sense, closeness involves resemblance. Two 
things that resemble each other are said to be spiritually dose, Two 
things that differ, on the other hand, are far apart in a spiritual 
sense. 

This has very important implications. In the spiritual world, it 
is utterly impossible to bring two opposites together. Because they 
are opposite, they are by definition, poles apart. 


f 





60 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


Thus, for example. God and man are worlds a pan—“as the heav¬ 
ens arc higher than the earth." On a purely spiritual plane, it would 
be totally impossible for the two ever to be brought together. It was 
for this reason that God created the concept of space. Spiritual things 
can he bound to the material, just as. for example, the soul is bound 
to the body. 

Two opposites can then be brought together by being bound to 
physical objects. In the physical world* space exists, and two oppo¬ 
sites can literally be pushed together. Furthermore, two spiritual 
opposites can even be bound to the same material object. 150 

Thus, for example* man has both an urge for good and an urge 
for evil, the Yetoer Tov, and the Feuer HiiHa. In a purely spiritual 
sense, these are poles apart. Without a physical world, they could 
never be brought together in a single entity. 

The archetype of the spiritual being is the angel. Since an angel 
has no body, it can never contain both good and evil in its being. 
Our sages therefore teach us that angels have no Yetzer 

It is only in a physical being that both good and evil can exist 
together. Although they are at opposite poles spiritually, they can 
come together in the physical man. One reason why God created man 
in a physical world was to allow him to have full freedom of choice, 
w r ith both good and evil as part of his makeup. Without a physical 
world, these two concepts could never exist in the same being. 111 

The fact that good and evil can exist in the same physical space 
also allows good to overcome evil in this world. Here again, this is 
only possible in a physical world. In a purely spiritual arena, good 
could never come dose enough to evil to have any influence over it 
In the physical world* however, good and evil can exist together, and 
good can therefore overcome evil. Our sages thus teach us that one 
of the mam reasons why man was placed in the physical world was 
to overcome the forces of cviL m The Zohar expresses it by stating 
that we are here “to turn darkness into lights 114 

The entire concept of the nonphysical is very difficult to compre¬ 
hend. and may be clarified by a remarkable leaching of our sages. 
The Midrash tells us. “One angel cannot have two missions. Neither 
can two angels share the same mission,” 115 

This teaching brings our entire discussion into focus. The angel 
is the archetype of the nonphysical being. When we speak of an angel, 
we are speaking of an entity that exists purely on a spiritual plane, 
Angels can be differentiated only by their mission* that is, by their 
involvement and attachment to some physical thing. 

Two angels therefore cannot share the same mission. It is only 
their different missions that make the two angels different entities. 
They cannot be separated by space like physical objects. 156 Therefore, 



Chapter Otic 


61 


if they both had the same mission, there would be nothing to differ¬ 
entiate them, and they would be one. Similarly, one angel cannot 
have two missions. On a purely spiritual plane, two different con¬ 
cepts cannot exist in a single entity. If an angel had two missions, 
then it would be two angels. 

We can also understand this in terms of the human mind. In a 
sense, the mind is a pure spiritual entity, bound to man's physical 
brain. Many thoughts and memories may be hound together by man's 
physical brain, but the mind can only focus on one of them at a time. 
In simple terms, a person can only think of one thing at a time. A 
thought is a spiritual entity, and as such, can only contain a single 
concept. Since both a thought and an angel are basic spiritual entities, 
this is very closely related to the fact that an angel can only have a 
single mission. ,JT 

For a similar reason, angels have no way of knowing anything 
that does not pertain to their particular mission. An angel may be 
created initially with a vast storehouse of knowledge, but it has no 
way of increasing it, at least, not beyond its own sphere of activity. 
Thus, for example, we find one angel asking another a question: “And 
one [angdj said to the Man dressed in linen, *, *How long shall it be 
until the end of these wonders'" (Daniel 12:6)7 One angel had to ask 
the other, because he himself could not know something outside of 
his own domain, 151 

In the physical world, we can learn things through our five 
senses. We can hear, feel, smell and taste. Our knowlege of things 
comes from our physical proximity to them. In the spiritual worlds, 
however, this does not exist. The only way that one can learn about 
a thing is to come into spiritual proximity with it. An angel cannot 
do this outside of his own realm. 

Man therefore has an advantage over an angel. The very fact that 
he exists in this lower world enables him to reach up ever higher. 

There arc concepts of good decreed by God. and as His decnees, 
they are intimately bound to Him. When a man physically involves 
himself with these good concepts, he literally binds himself to God. 
He thus achieves a closeness that no angel could ever hope to 
reach, l5 * 

This is a major difference between a mart and an angel An angel 
is assigned to one spiritual station, and has no way to rise any higher. 
Thus, when the prophet speaks of angels, he says. w Around Him. the 
seraphim stood* 1 (Isaiah 6:2), Angels are described as standing and 
stationary . But when God speaks to man. He tells him, “If you walk 
in My ways. .. then 1 will give you a place to move among those who 
stand here” (Zechartah 3:7), God was showing the prophet a vision 
of stationary angels, and telling him that he would be able to move 




62 


5F.FER YETZUUH 


fable 60 Unification of the Seiimt. 


1 Apex of Yud 
* Yud 
a Heh 
1 Vav 

n Heh 


Keter 

Chakhmah 

Binah 

C hesed, Gevurah. Tift ret, 
Nctzach, Hod, Yesod 
Malkhut 


among them. Man can move from level to level but angels are bound 
to their particular plane.™ 

There are many levels in the spiritual world If only the spiritual 
would exist, there would be no way for these to come together, The 
only thing (hat can possibly unify these levels is their relationship to 
the physical world. 

In order to reach the highest levels of holiness, man must there¬ 
fore become pan of the physical world. When he obeys God*s com¬ 
mandments, he attaches himself to the same physical objects as the 
One who gave the commandments. Irt obeying these commandments, 
man therefore attaches himself to God to the greatest possible degree. 
He is thus able to scale the highest spiritual heights. 

This is the symbolism of Jacob’s dream in which he saw, “A ladder 
standing on earth, whose top reached the heavens” fGcnesis 28:12), It 
is only through earthly deeds dial we can climb the loftiest heights. The 
different levels of the spiritual worild. the rungs of the “ladder," can only 
be bound together when they are "standing on the earth ” 161 

The Sefirot are not physical and do not appear to be attached 
to any physical concept. Since they represent different concepts and 
levels, the question then arises: How can they interact*? Obviously, 
the only possible way is through some relationship with the physical 
world. It is only when two different Sefirot come together and inter¬ 
act with the same physical object that they can also interact with each 
other. The Kabbalists therefore engage in many physical activities 
with the primary intent of “unifying the Sefirot." 

Another way in which the Sefirot are unified is through the 
Divine Names. This is especially true of the Tetragrammatom 
YHVH (nw)t According to the Kabbalists, the apex of the Yud (*) 
represents Keter. the Yud itself, Chakbmah, the initial Heh (rrj. 
Binah. ihe Vav (i) f which has a numerical value of six. the next six 
Sefirot, and the final Heh, Malkhut. See Table JO. 

The very fact that this Name can be written on a physical piece 
of paper, where the letters representing the Sefirot are brought 
together, serves to unify the Sefirot. Each Sefirah is associated with 


'liqhh 






Chaptrr On* 


tv 


a letter, and when these letters are physically brought together, the 
Seftrot can also interact. Specific interactions involving the Scflrot 
can also be brought about when various names are combined. The 
same is also true oT other Kabbalistie diagrams and representations 
of the Soft rot. 

Even though the Set!rot were created before the physical world, 
they exist in a domain that is above time, where past, present and 
future are one. The very fact that they would have physical counter¬ 
parts in the future provided them with a link with the physical world. 
Since God willed that at some future time, the letters of the Name 
would be able to be represented by physical forms and be written on 
a physical medium, they had an association with the physical even 
before it was created. This allowed the Sefirot to interact, even before 
the creation of the physical universe* 143 

The same is true of the other letters of the alphabet. Although 
the letters are best known as they are written down physically, they 
actually also represent spiritual forces. Through various combina¬ 
tions of the letters, the spiritual forces associated with them are 
brought together in various effective combinations. These spiritual 
forces are the “letters with which heaven and earth were created/* 

From all this, we see that there is an important link between the 
physical and the spiritual. Even Keter. the highest of the Sefiiol. has 
a physical representation in the apex of the Yud of the Divine 
Name, 

This is also realted to our earlier discussion of cause and effect. 
The highest level of Keter is the ultimate cause, while the physical 
world is the ultimate effect. 


Like a flame in a burning coal 

In describing the relationship between the physical and the spir¬ 
itual, the Zohar uses an expression very similar to that used here. 
The Zohar states: “If one wishes to know the wisdom of ihe holy uni¬ 
fication, lei him look at the flame rising from a burning coal or from 
a kindled lamp. The flame cannot rise unless it is unified with some¬ 
thing physical 1,163 

From the context, it is evident that the Zohar is speaking of the 
different parts of the flame. The only way in which the flame can rise 
is for all of these parts to come together. This is only possible when 
the flame is attached to the physical coal or wick. In a similar man¬ 
ner. all the spiritual levels cannot function or interact unless they arc 
bound to the physical 



64 


SEFEK YETZIR AH 


The Sefer Yetzirah therefore slates that ‘Their end h imbedded 
in their beginning.., like a flame in a burning cOkT* The only way 
in which the end and beginning can interact is because both are 
bound to related physical concepts. 

This can also be used as a meditation. IH The wick itself repre¬ 
sents the physical world, while the blue flame nearest to the wick is 
the counterpart of Malkhut. 1 * 5 Surrounding this is the bright yellow 
flame, corresponding to the next six Sefiroi: Chesed, Gevurah, 
Tiferet, Net^ach, Hod and Yesod, Above this is the barely visible 
exterior flame, the hottest part of a If paralleling Binah, Then comes 
the light radiating from the candle, which is t.hakhmah. Finally, 
there is the concept of flame itself, and this corresponds to Keter 

All of these parts are unified only through the wick. By contem¬ 
plating a flame in this manner, one can bind himself to the Ten 
Scfirot 

It is for this reason that the Sefer Yetzirah states that the Ten 
Sell rot parallel the ten directions. Even though the Sell rot are purely 
spiritual the very fact that they arc associated with the physical 
directions serves to unify them. Then, as it were, the point at infinity 
in the five-dimensiona] hyperspace would represent the unapproach¬ 
able Infinite. 

The great Kabbalist, Rabbi Abraham Abu tafia, notes that the 
Hebrew word for "coal," Gachetet (rrina)* has a numerical value of 
44L This is the same as the value of Emet (natt), meaning “tnrtll. h|W 
[i is Truth that binds all opposites together. This is indicated by the 
word itself. The word Emet begins with an Alef{«), the first letter of 
the alphabet, and ends with a Tav (ji). ihe last letter. Thus, the "end 
is imbedded in the beginning.*' This is accomplished through the 
Mem (a), the middle letter of the alphabet. 

Another master Kabbalist, Rabbi Joseph Gikatalia (1248-13231 
points out that Alef and Tav arc also the first letters of the word Amh 
(nnw), meaning “Thou." The Heh (rr) at the end of this word, which 
has a numercial value of five, represents Binah. as expressed in the 
five books of the Torah r and in the five phonetic families of the 
alphabet. 1 * 7 In order lo address God as “Thouf we must first “imbed 
the beginning (Aid) in the end (Tav),~ Only then can we address Him 
through the letters of the Torah, represented by the Heh, 


For the Master is Singular 

Besides being brought together by their association with the 
physical world, the Scfirot arc also unified by God Himself. In his 


■ riant 


n 



Chapter One 


65 


prayer, Elijah thus says regarding the Sefirot, “You bind them, and 
You unify Uicim“ 14 * 

When the Ten Sefirot are represented as the ten directions, the 
physical can be taken as the zero point, from which they ait emanate, 
God. as it were, can be said to parallel the point at infinity, where 
they ail converge. Of course, God has no representation: whatever, 
but this is the closest that the human mind can come to imagining a 
representation. By contemplating the point at infinity, one can 
approach a conception of the Infinite Reing. 

This point at infinity is both infinitely large and infinitely 
small It does not have any defined place in the continuum of 
space, time, or the spiritual. It has neither shape nor form, yet, at 
the same time, it is defined as a single, unitary, undifferentiated 
point All of this is also true of God. Of course. God is much more 
than this. 

In describing God here, the Sefer Yelzirah does not say that 
He is one lEchad), but that He is singular (Yidlid). It is saying 
that God is so absolutely singular that there is no quality whatever 
that can be attributed to Him. As the philosophers state, we cannot 
describe God with any quality or adjective whatever, only with 
negative attributes or attributes of action.Although we cannot 
say what God i$ T by using negative attributes, we can say what He 
ts rtot. Similarly, with attributes of action, wc can speak of what 
God does. 

This also implies that God is absolutely simple. In the domain 
that existed before creation, there was nothing other than God. As 
mentioned earlier, even such simple concepts as Cause and Effect 
had to be created. The same is true of number. 

If the concept of “oneness" existed in God, this would imply that 
the concept of number exists in His essence. This in itself would 
introduce an del mem of plurality. One could then speak of God and 
His '‘oneness/’ that is. His association with the number one. ‘"GotT 
and “His oneness* would then be two concepts. 

The Hebrew word fithad denotes an association with the number 
one, Yachid. on the other hand, is a negative attribute, indicating the 
absence of arty plurality whatever. 


He has no second 

This is based on the verse, *There is One, He has no second, He 
has neither son nor brother" (Ecclesiastes 4:S), 




66 


REFER YETZIRAH 


Before one , what do you count 

How can one count before the concept of “one* came into exis¬ 
tence. As the Scfer Yetzirah later says, “one" parallels Keier. the first 
Sefirah (1:9). As discussed earlier (hi), the concept of numbers did 
not come i nto existence until the creation of the Sefirot, which were 
the first elements of numerality and plurality in creation. The con¬ 
cept of'’one* did not come into being until the Sefirah of Kcter was 
created. God, the Infinite Being, existed before Kcter came into 
being. 



pto 75. uhi na*b:i /htsd Tvy 

aw Turn*? pSi 7s p t»o nmnSa 
wijn remn ('« Swprm) pSt? opaS 
:rb*n jtim nr txi Sjn awi 


Se firof of Nothingness 

Bridie your mouth from speaking 

and yottr hear! from dunking 

And if your heart runs 
return to the place . 

It is therefore written, 

*The Chayot running and returning." (Ezekiel ]:24) 

Regarding this a covenant hot made 

Bridle your mouth 

The Sefer Yetzirah delines the word Belimah, which we translate 
as * nothingness/ 1 it says that it also has the connotation of bridling 
(hatamy 

The essence of the Sefiroi can only be attained when one bridles 
one’s lips from speaking, and closes one’s mind to all verbal and 
depictive thought. Only when one makes the mind completely blank 
can the Sefirot be experienced. 

This is particularly important, since many techniques of 
Kabbalah meditation involve the recitation of a mantra-like device 
or various types of contemplation. All such techniques, however, are 
only a means through which the mind is cleared of all thought. The 



Chapter One 


67 


actual experience of the Sefiroi only comes after one stops using the 
technique and remains absolutely still, with all the thought processes 
hushed. 170 


And your heart from thinking 

In Kabbalah, the term "heart" usually denotes Binah, rL It indi¬ 
cates the verbal pan of the mind, which is the seat of Binah con- 
sciousness, This Binah consciousness must be “bridled" so the Sefirot 
can be experienced with Chakhmah consciousness alone. 


And if your heart runs 

Here, “heart"’ again refers to Binah consciousness. The Sefiroi 
must be experienced with Chakhmah consciousness. If one tries to 
depict them with Binah (the “heart”), then the mind can become 
engulfed in a profusion of symbolism. As the Kabbah sis explain, this 
is very' dangerous, since the mind can be swallowed up in this 
kaleidescope of symbolism, and not be able to emerge from it 172 This 
is what happened to Ben Zomah. who lost his mind when he entered 
Paradise . m 

This "running" consists of a rapid profusion of symbolism, either 
verbal or visual 174 If the “heart runs," the Sefer Yelzirah warns that 
one should “return to the place." He must focus on something physT 
cal, so as to restore spiritual equilibrium. ITS 

In this respect, one must emulate the ChayoL the "living angels" 
seen by Ezekiel in his vision. One must oscillate between “running 
and reluming.” Since one can only think with Binah consciousness, 
one must use it to swing into Chakhmah consciousness. This state 
can only be maintained for a short lime, whereupon Binah conscious¬ 
ness returns, and one tries to depict his experience. At this point, one 
must immediately return to the physical. In this manner, one can 
oscillate back and forth, reaching higher each time. JTa 


A covenant was made 

From the context, this covenant is a mutual agreement between 
God and the mystic. The mystic promises that he will not attempt to 
depict the Sefirot with Binah consciousness, and God promises that 
if one runs back immediately, then he will be able to return. 





SFFER VFTZ3RAH 


6$ 


It is in this context that the Kabbahsts advised those who were 
attempting to reach the highest levels to bind their soul with an oath 
that it should return to their body. 1 - 7 Besides such individual oaths, 
there is also a general covenant that implies that the soul will be able 
to return, even from the highest levels. 

In more general terms, a covenant is something that comes 
between two things and joins them. This is the covenant that joins 
the spiritual and she physical, 

Tn particular, as the Sefcr Yetzuah states (i:3) P a covenant 
denotes circumcision. One of the reasons for circumcisions is to indi¬ 
cate that one should be able to control one's sexual passions. 171 Com¬ 
munion wiih the spiritual is also sexual in a sense, and the covenant 
of circumcision also helps to control this passion. A person who can 
control his sexual passions even at the height of desire, can also con¬ 
trol his mind when it enters the spiritual realm. 

According to some critical studies, this line is the end of the most 
ancient part of the text. The Scfer Yenirah (6:7) also appears to indi¬ 
cate that the covenant mentioned here was that which God made 
with Abraham, What the text might be saying is that, regarding every¬ 
th ing that has been written up to this point, a covenant was made, 
possibly with Abraham. 



u*n mHto rm r\r\t< nn'po iry 
rmi Sip crobu T n *n St? isr "plant "pia 
:tniprr nrr ttirn nan 


Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: 

One is the Breath of the Living God 
Blessed and benedicted is the name 
of the Life of Worlds 
The voice of brea th and speech 
And this fj the Holy Breath. 


One 

The Sefirah alluded to here is Keter (Crown), This is the number 
one. It is the first of the numbers to come into existence. 17 * 



Chapter One 


69 


The breath of the Living God 

This is based on the verse, where God says of Betzakl, builder 
of the tabernacle in the desert, “I will fill him with the Breath of God 
(Ruach EloHirtt), with Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge” 
(Exodus 31:3). We therefore see that the “Breath of God” comes 
before Wisdom and Understanding. Among the Sefirot, then, this 
corresponds to Keter, 1 * 0 As the Talmud says, it was through this 
“Breath of God" that BetzaEd was able to manipulate the letters of 
creation. 

The word ruach, which we translate here as “breath," is also the 
word for wind, and the Sefer Yetzirah also apparently uses it as the 
term for air. This word, however, is often used in the Bible to denote 
spirit, and this is the sense that it is used here. 

In general, the word ruach indicates motion and communication. 
It is related to the words O-rach meaning a path, and O-reach, mean¬ 
ing a guest. The spirit (ruach) of life in an animal is the power that 
causes it to move. 

Normally, the air is invisible and undetectable. It is only when 
it moves that one can fed it as a wind or breath. Similarly, the spirit¬ 
ual continuum is undetectable, except when it moves. It is then 
experienced as spirit (ruach). Hence, ruach is the word for wind, 
breath, and spirit 

This is also describing the act of creation. The analogy would be 
the formation of a glass vesseL ,SJ First the breath {ruach} emanates 
from the mouth of the gjassblower, The vessel is shaped through the 
interaction of the breath, where the wind bounding olT the walls 
causes pressure. The vessel then expands in all spatial directions. 


Living God 

As mentioned above (kl) h the term “Living God” {Etohim 
Chayim) denotes Yesod (Foundation), when this Scfirah is in a pro- 
creative mode, disbursing all the forces of creation, The “spirit” here, 
which is from Keter, is that which is ultimately disbursed by Yesod, 
Since Keter itself cannot be experienced, it is referred to in terms of 
Yesod, since that is w'here it is experienced. 111 


Blessed and Benedicted 

In other ancient Kabbalah texts, such as the Bahir. these adjec¬ 
tives are also used with regard to Keter. lfli 



70 


SEFER YETZfRAH 


In Hebrew, the two terms here are Barukh (*jrn) and MeBhorakh 
(y*uo)L Both words actually mean "blessed.” Barukh denotes that 
God is intrinsically blessed while McBorakh implies that He is 
blessed by others in prayer. 

When we say that Ciod is “blessed," this means that His essence 
is brought down, so as to interact with His creation and ‘"bless*' ii . st4 
Hence t it is related to the word Berekh ( 713 }, meaning “knee," Just 
as the knee, when it is bent, serves to lower the body, so a blessing 
serves to lower the Divine. This is closely related to the concept of 
silling, discussed above (1:4), 

God has an intrinsic mode through which He brings His essence 
to bear on His creation. In this respect. He is catted Barukh. His 
essence is also brought to bear to a greater degree as a result of prayer 
and similar actions, lit this respect He is said to be MeBhorakh. 


Life of Worlds 

This also refers to the Seftrah of Yesod (Foundation}, but in a 
mode where it bestows spiritual influx and life to the universes below 
Afzilut. it is therefore called "Life of Worlds" 


Voice of Breath and Speech 

These were the tools of creation, as it is w r ritteti, "With the Word 
of GodL the heavens were made, and with the Breath (Ranch) of His 
mouth, all ihdr hosts * 1 (Psalms 33:6). According to the Talmud, this 
alludes to the first Saying of creation, that is, to Keter .*® 3 

Voice (fco/J is pure inarticulate sound, and as such, it is related 
to Chakhmah. Speech, on the other hand, is articulate and related to 
Bin.ah, These two opposites are then connected by “Breath** 
(RuttchX 

This can also be interpreted in terms of creation. “Voice” is pure, 
mart ecu la ted creative force. It is alluded to in the first verse of the 
Torah. '*ln the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.** The 
Talmud states that this was the first of the Ten Saying with which the 
world w r as created. 5 ** This is an inarticulate Saying, since only the 
accomplishment, and not the saying, is recorded in the Torah, 

Right after this, the Torah reports. “T he breath of God {Rmch 
Efohim ) hovered on the face of the water” (Genesis 1:2), This is 
“Breath" or Spirit (Ruach). It is only after this that God speaks and 
says. “Let there be light** (Genesis L3). This is the reason for the 
sequence in Sefer Yetzirah: “Voice, breath, speech. 1 " 1 *' 



Chapter One 


71 


This is (he Holy Breath 

In Hebrew, this is Ruach Hakottesh. usually translated as “Holy 
Spirit." This is the usual term for divine inspiration, which in its 
higher forms also includes prophecy. 

Tins “Holy Spirit" can be seen as the intermediate between 
Voice and Speech. It is thus also intermediate between Chakhmah 
and Bmah consciousness, Ruach HaKodesh is the divine inspiration 
and information that one can bring back from a slate of Chakhmah 
consciousness to one’s normal state of Binah consciousness. 

Such Ruach HaKndesh is like Kcter h which stands between 
Chakhmah and fiinah. but which is above them, Both Chakhmah and 
Binah arc functions of the mind itself, w hile Ruach HaKodesh comes 
from without, h is therefore likened to Keter, since a crown is worn 
above the head and is external to it. This Rrnch HaKodesh is the 
"breath of God" mentioned in the verse. “I will fill him with the 
Breath of God, with Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge." 16 * 




crmn wivy rn nsmi ppn rmo nn 
u^mn mSisa yim r\V3& vhv -no> m*nw 
:pa nnpt rrm m bits mpp 


31 m: Breath from Breath 
With it He engraved and carved 
22 Foundation Letters 
Three Mothers 
Sewn Doubles 
and Twelve Elemental^ 
And one Breath is from them. 


Breath from Breath 

This is Maikhut (Kingship), the lowest of the Ten Sefirot. 1 ” 

It is counted right after Keter, following the above mentioned 
dictum, “imbed their end in their beginning." Keter is Cause, while 
Malkhul is Effect, and Cause cannot exist without Effect. 

In the language of the later Kabbalists. the first Breath from 
Keter is called Direct Light (Or Yashar }, This second “Breath from 




72 


SEFER YETZIIUH 


Breath.” associated with Malkhut is called Reflected Light (Or 
Cho-er ). lW Using the analogy of the glassblower above, this is the 
breath that bounces off the waits of the vessel being formed. 

In a conceptual Sense, the Direct Light is the concept of causal¬ 
ity, where Ketcr is the Cause of all things, As mentioned above, how^ 
ever. Cause cannot exist without Effect, and hence. Effect is also the 
cause of Cause, Malkhut, the Effect, is therefore also the Cause, and 
this the concept of Reflected Light. 

The Kabbah sis often speak of Lights and Vessels, "Light" 
denotes the concept of giving, while Vessels indicate that of accepting 
and receiving. The Kabbahsts also teach that the Vessels came into 
being through the "collision" between Direct Light and Reflected 
Light. w These Vessels are the letters of the alphabet."■ 

The Sefer Ycizirah therefore speaks of “Breath" and of “Breath 
from Breath* The first “Breath" denotes the simple breath that 
emanates from the lungs and throat. “Breath from Breath" is that 
which is reflected by the various parts of the mouth to produce the 
sounds of speech. 1 ®* It is through the interaction of direct and 
reflected breath that sounds are produced. 

In man, this takes place in the mouth, while in the Set’irot, it 
occurs in Malkhui- *t is for ibis reason that the Tikkuuty Zohar 
speaks of Malkhut as the “Mouth." 1 * 4 It is also through Malkhut ibat 
all images of the higher Scfirot are reflected so that they should be 
visualized.™ 1 

The Sefer Ycizirah therefore says that the 22 letters were created 
through this second Sell rah, 


Engraved and carved 

As discussed earlier (1:1), the word Ciaxkak, which is translated 
as “engrave," denotes the removal of material. The letters came into 
existence when the reflected breath removes portions of the direct 
breath. This takes place through the various motions of the mouth. 

The second process is Chatzav, w hich is translated as "carve” or 
“quarry.” This denotes separating material from its source, as in the 
verse, “From its mountains, you quarry (chatzav) copper" (Deuteron¬ 
omy 8:91. it also refers to “quarrying" in a spiritual sense, as in, 
“Look at fGodJ the Rock from which you were quarried IchatzavY' 
(Isaiah 51:1). 1 * 

The word CJuttzav thus denotes the process wherein the letter 
sounds leave the mouth and arc expressed independently. In this con¬ 
text, “Engrave* (chakak) indicates the articulation and pronunciation 
of the sounds, and “carve” (ehatzav) denotes their expression.™ 7 



Chapter One 




From the last section of Sefer Yet zi rah {6:l) y we also see that 
“engraving" and “carving" denote meditative process. This shall be 
discussed later. 


A fid one breath is from them 

AS letters that are expressed involve the same breath. In a spirit¬ 
ual sense, this means that the same inspiration comes from all letters. 
This is the Ruaeh HaKodesh that emanates from Malkhut. Since 
Malkhut is called the “Mouth." the spirit emanating from it is called 
“speech.’* Just like physical speech, this consists of l * words,” which 
in turn are comprised of “letters," 

Some authorities interpret this phrase, “And breath is one of 
them." This is because Breath {Ruach} is associated with the letter 
Alet as below (3:7). ™ 


1:11 


m'jiw ra jra arm ppn min d>d rV 
rrany f>03 ppn mn ktsi ina> *nna 

pm 12’rya pas oaa’D rra’in pas pm 

:pW R17T TOR 1 *2 10RJV 15Jf nPJJJI JW 


Three; Water from Breath 
WUh it He engraved and carved 
122 letters from] 
chaos and void 
mire and day 

He engraved them tike a sort of garden 
He caned them tike a sort of Walt 
He covered them tike a sort of ceding 
{And He pouted snow over them 
and it became dust 
os it is written 

'For to snow He said. 'Become earth " (Job 3 7^J.J 

Water from Breath 


This is Chakhmah (Wisdom l lv> The Midrash thus says, “Breath 
(Wwtfr/r} gave birth to Wisdom." 100 Wisdom is represented by water. 



74 


S'EFER VEI /MAH 


since water is an undilTcrcntiaied fluid, as discussed earlier (1:1), 
Structure must be imposed on it from without. 

The process described by Sefer Yetzirah is alluded to in the 
verse. "He makes His breath {mack) blow, the waters flow* 1 (Psalms 
147: IS). 3*' 

The analogy is rain, which is formed when warm, moist air col¬ 
lides with cold air. Similarly, the interaction of direct and reflected 
breath creates the Sefirah ofChakhmah. Just as rain falls in ail things 
alike, so Chakhmah bestows God's blessing on all things without dis¬ 
tinction . : ® J Just like air can hold moisture, so Chakhmah is implied 
in the “Breath” that is Keter. 

The parallel between Chakhmah and rain is described in the 
verses (Isaiah 55:9-1 J): 

/Is the heaven tJ higher than the earth 
so are My ways higher than your ways 
and My thoughts, than your thoughts. 

ft at as the rain and snow descend from heaven 
and return not there 
without watering the earth 
making it bloom and bud 

giving seed to the sower and bread to he who eats. 

So the word that emanates from My mouth 
shall not return to me emptyhanded 
without accomplishing that which I please 
and succeeding in its mission , 

Here God is saying that His “’thought," which is Chakhmah, is 
as far above the human mind as the sky is above the earth. But just 
as rain can descend from the sky. so can God's Wisdom come down 
to man, accomplishing what He desires. 

The difference between breath and water is that breath must be 
blown downward, while water Falls on its own,The spiritual 
essence implied by Keter can only be granted by God's direct inter¬ 
vention and will -■* That implied by Chakhmah, on the other hand, 
descends to lower levels on its own. 

In a psychological sense. Keter represents Ruach HaKodesh, the 
divine inspiration that can only be granted by God, Wisdom, on the 
other hand, can be gained by man on his own. If man makes himself 
into a vessel for Chakhmah, it comes dowti to him automatically. In 
this respect, it is like rain, which can be used by anyone who has a 
proper vessel to hold H. 

Breath also alludes to the process whereby God imposes His will 
on creation deliberately, so as to change natural events. Chakhmah, 
on the other hand, involves the natural course of events, which pre- 


yrigh 

j —j 


r ia 



Chapter One 


75 


cede without any divine intervention, it is because of Chakhmah that 
the course of nature can exist. In a physical sense, water is said to 
allude to the undifferentiated primeval matter. 2 ® 

With them He engraved 

Here the Sefer Yeuirah is speaking about the beginnings of writ¬ 
ten letters. The spoken letters arise from breath* but for the written 
letters, to exist, there must exist a writing fluid* such as ink. This 
implies the liquid slate, of which the prototype is water. The writing 
fluid is spoken of as "mire and clay." 


Chaos and Void 

Tohu and Bohu in Hebrew. This alludes to the initial stale of cre¬ 
ation, as it is written, "The earth was chaos and void" (Genesis 1:2). 
The Sefer Yetzirah later say's that it was out of this chaos (tohu) that 
substance was formed (2:6). 

Tohu denotes pure substance that does not contain information, 
Bohu is pure informal ion that does not relate to any substance. 2 ® 
Both are undifferentiated, and are therefore included in Chakhmah, 
With Bohu (information), the alphabet letters could be engraved on 
Tohu (substance). 

The scripture states That, "the earth was chaos and void," The 
Kabbalists note that "earth" (erefz) is a feminine word, and teach that 
it alludes to Malkhut, the archetype of the feminine, "Chaos and 
void." which related to Chakhmah, did not come into existence until 
after Malkhut, This is the same as the order of the Sefer Yetzirah, 
which also places Chakhmah after MaJkhui, 21 " 5 


Mire and day- 

In Hebrew, mire is Refesh* and clay is Tyt. The only place in the 
Bible where the two are mentioned together is in the verse, “The 
wicked are like the troubled sea. It cannot rest, and its waters cast up 
mire and day" (Isaiah 57:20). 

In describing the original state of creation, the Torah stales. “The 
eanh was chaos and void, and darkness on the face of the deep 
(tehatnT (Genesis 1:2), According to the commentaries, the word 
Tehom denotes the mud and clay on the bottom of the sea,- t S 

"Chaos and void" allude to the interaction between Chakhmah 
(water) and Keter (Breath). “Mire and clay" allude to the interaction 




76 


5EFER VETZJRAH 


between Chakhmah (water) and MalLhui (earthy Mire consists 
mostly of water, and therefore represents the dominance of 
Chakmab. Clay consists mostly of eank and represents the domi¬ 
nance of Malkhut. The mire is the writing fluid, while the day is the 
medium upon which it is written. 

He engraved them... 

The Hebrew' letters have three basic parts, a top, center, and bot¬ 
tom. The lop and bottom usually consist of heavy horizontal lines, 
while the center consists of thinner vertical lines. 

The bottoms of the ietlcrs were "engraved like a pidenThis U 
where material is removed from the matron [caving a hoUow. The sides 
of the letters are then "'carved like a wall." These are the vertical lines 
which separate the letters from each other tike walls. Finally, the tops 
of the letters are added, like a ceiling covering the letters. 50 ’ According 
to some authorities, this also alludes to the creation of space 110 

As we shall see later (2:4). this can also be an instruction for a 
meditation. 

He floured snow over them 

This is omitted in some versions, but the idea is found in the 
Midrash. ?JI 

The liquid state represents fluidity and change, whereas the solid 
state represents permanence. When the Torah speaks of instability, 
it uses water as an example, as in the verse, ‘‘unstable like water" 
(Genesis 49;4). I,? Thus, when Chakmab is in a state of flux, it is rep¬ 
resented by water, but when it is in a state of permanence, it is repre¬ 
sented by snow. 

.As mentioned earlier, Chakrnnh has two modes. The first is that 
oT Chakmah consciousness, while the second is that of memory, 
Chakhmah consciousness is fluid, and is represented bv water. Mem¬ 
ory, on the other hand, h fixed, and is denoted by snow. 

The letters themselves represent the fluid state. Like a flu id, at 
this point, they can be combined in any way that one desires. Only 
after snow is poured over them do they become set and immutable 
in live solid state. A similar idea is found in the Bahir. which states 
that before it was given to Israel, the Torah was likened to water, but 
after it was given, it was likened to stone. 21 * 

Although Chakhmah is nonverbal and nonvisual, it still repre¬ 
sents t he source of the letters. It is only after the letters are combined 
into words (hat they represent verbal Binah consciousness. The Jet- 


Copyrighted material 



Chapter One 


77 


ters themselves are the "paths of Wisdom," but. as explained earlier 
(1:1), they arc expressed primarily through Understanding, 




imn nos m ivm ppn o'nn ew s?3“in 

rmm '3kVbi nipn jivm 

mm vpffVn jnpijr TOtw injm to* fmStPBi 

idi^S T»ni?a 


Four: Fire from Water 
With it He engraved and carved 
the Throne of Glory 
Serafim, Ophanim. and holy Chayor 
and Ministering angets 
From these three He founded His dwelling 
as it is written: 

"He makes His angets of breaths. 

His ministers of flaming fire" {Psalms !Q4;4). 


Fire from Water 

This is Binah (Understanding), J|j The process described here is 
alluded to in the verse, “Fire kindles water"' (Isaiah 64:1>. Jli 

We can use the same analogy as before, where rain is brought 
about by the confluence of warm and cold air. “Fire from Water" 
would then denote the lightning that accompanies a rainstorm *** The 
process would then be alluded to in the verse, “God’s voice carves 
out {choizev ) flames oT fire" (Psalms 29:B), Jt7 

Other commentaries state that this refers to lire kindled by a 
globe of water used as a burning glass. 111 

According to both interpretations, the fire is seen as one that is 
finely focused on one particular place. It is very different than rain, 
which falls everywhere without distinction. This, however, is an 
important difference between Binah and Chakhmah. Binah focuses 
on a single object, while Chakhmah encompasses everything. 

There is also another important difference between fire and water. 
Water naturally flows downward, while fire tends, to ascend upward. 119 
Fire also causes the air above it to move upward, and prevents it from 
descending. In a similar manner. Binah lends to restrict and curtail the 
How of spiritual sustenance (shefa) downward to the lower spheres. In 
this respect, it is the precise opposite of Chakhmah, If Chakmah is the 
source of giving, then Binah is the source of restraint 

The analogy of fire and water also refers to the mental slates 
implied by Chakhmah and Binah, The Midrash states, “Water con- 


py righted maleria 



?8 


SEFER \ rTZIRAH 


ceived and gave birth to Gloom {A/eIah} t Fire conceived and gave 
birth to l-igju. Breath (/{ihkA) conceived and gave birth to Wis* 
dom." :;n From the statement. “Breath gave birth to Wisdom/' we see 
that this entire passage is speaking of mental states. 

Water, which represents Chakhmah consciousness, thus gives 
birth to Gloom and darkness. This is the hushing and nullification 
of the senses, as well as the cessation of ah normal mental processes. 
Fire, which represents Binah consciousness, then gives rise to light, 
since it is in this stale that visible images are perceived. 

lust like water is calm and cook so Chakhmah consciousness is per¬ 
fectly calm. Indeed, the experience of entering this state may be very 
much like descending into calm, deep water. It is for this reason that 
when Rabbi Akiba and his companions erne red into the mysteries, he 
warned them not to say, "“Water; water."™ They should not be misled 
mto thinking that they were actually experiencing physical water. 

In the realm of Chakhmah consciousness, even the letters only 
exist in a state of pure information. This information exists as “chaos 
and void/ which cannot be grasped at all, or as “mire and clay/ 
which are totally opaque. As explained earlier, the information and 
letters in Ghakhmah can only be grasped through the imagery of 
Binah (1:1). It is while in a state of Binah consciousness that this 
information can be described using such imagery' as angels and ihe 
T hrone of Glory. 

The Sefer Yelzirah also implies that the physical world came into 
being through Chakhmah, while the spiritual world has its roots in 
Binah. This is because t’hakhmah T the concept of giving freely, is the 
root of mercy, while Binah, the concept of restraint, is the root of 
justice. Since ev il exists in the physical world, if can only be sustained 
through God’s mercy, as the Psalmist sang, “1 have said, the world 
is built on mercy’" (Psalms 89:3), In the spiritual world, on the other 
hand, pure judgment prevails, 133 

According to the philosophers. Water represents the primeval 
matter, while Fire represents the primitive aether, 

The Throne of Glory 

This is the vehicle through which God “sits'" and “lowers'’ His 
essence so as to be concerned with His creation, as above (1:4), 
According to the Kabbalists T this Throne represents the Universe of 
Beriyah. It is in this universe that the power of Binah is dominant. 

Serafim 

This is the highest species of angels. w r hich exist in the Universe of 
Ben yah. Other Kabbah sis refer to them as Powers, Forces or Potentials 



Chaptir OfK' 


79 


Table 1I, The angels and Sefirot* 


Universe 

Angels 

Parallel 

Se ll rot 

Inhabitant 

Alzilut 

Beriyah 

Yetzirah 

Asiyah 

[Akairiel] 

Serafim 

Chayot 

Ophanim 

Chakhmah 

Bmah 

Next Six 
Malkhui 

Sefirot 

Throne of Glory 
Angels 

Shade of Physical 
Worid 


(Kochoi). rather than angds, 124 The prophet thus said* "I saw the Lord 
silling on a high and exalted Throne. . , Serafim stood, around Him" 
(Isaiah 6:1-2). The prophet Isaiah was visualizing Beriyah, the world of 
the Throne* and he saw the Serafim* the angels of that universe, 2 ?* 

The word ‘'Serafim" comes from the root Saraf, meaning “to 
burn." They are given this name because they are in the world of 
Beriyah, where Bmah. which is represented by fire, is dominant. 1:26 

The Chayot are ihe angels of Yctzirah, and these were the beings 
that were visualized by Ezekiel, He therefore said, “Above tine firmament 
that was over ihe heads [of the Chayot] was the likeness of a Throne.. 
[Ezekiel 1:26). Finally, the Ophanim are the angels of Asiyah. These were 
therefore seen below the Chayot, as the prophet said, “There was an 
Ophan on the earth near the Chayot" [Ezekiel 1:15). 

“Ministering angels" arc those which appear to man on earth. 
While other angds can only be seen prophetically, ministering angels 
can also be seen physically, 2 - 7 Tabic U shows the angels in relation 
to the Sefirot. 

From these three 

That is T from Breath. Fire and Water. 

He founded His dwelling 

The word for “dwelling" here is St a on, which we encountered 
previously 11:5), This term relates to God as He encompasses oil cre¬ 
ation* including lime and the spiritual dimension. 

Breath, Fine and Water are the sources of the spiritual (Keter- 
Malkhut) and time (Chakhmah-Binah) continuums, and these 
encompass all creation* 

As it is written 

The complete verse is, “He lays the beams of His upper chambers 
with water,.. He makes breaths His angds. His ministers of flaming 
fire." 


>y rici 


nial 




SEFER YETZ 1 RAH 


so 


God's "upper chambers" are the spiritual universes, while His 
lower chamber is the physical world. The ceiling beams of His upper 
chambers arc said to be made of water. This refers to the level above 
Beriyah, which is Atzilm. In Atzi!ut s Cbakhmah is dominant, and 
Chakhmah is represented by water, 

The verse says that the angels are made of “breaths'" (mchot), in 
the plural This alludes to both direct and to reflected breath. The word 
for angel here is Malakh^ which also means * messenger." Just as breath 
descends and ascends through God’s wil1 + so do these angels. They 
therefore carry out the function of direct and reflected Breath, 

The second kind of angel functions as a minister, remaining in 
a single universe. These are visualized as fire. 


1:13 


vbv 1103 meno&rr jo mm vhv “n»3 
□m onm bnin idvj njnpi v'na max 
ionm rrSyab n» Din onn pen .rmyp xw 
T>ra ionm ttpjqS mpnn onn w ,rn*a 
mm? ,rmn ionm vxh njm mra onn yatr 
Dnn ytpji ratt ionm nrmb nan dtj?o ojth 

psv orn tv? ittnni \mh roui cm 
:* rf TO lanm lVxarcb nasi 


/fc 1 ctase rt/w 

yhpffl among the Elemental* 

jin the mystery of the three Mothers 
Aief Mem Shin (vm)J 
And He set them m His great Name 

and Mth them. He sealed six extremities. 
Five: He sealed “above” and faced upward 
and sealed it with Yud Heh lav frpj. 

Six: He sealed ‘below' and faced downward 
and sealed it with Heh Yud Vox (rr\). 

Seven: He sealed "east" and faced straight ahead 
and sealed it with Vav Yud Heh fmf 
Eight: He sealed Ves/ and faced backward 
and sealed tt with Vav Heh Yud frnj. 

Nine: He sealed “south ~ and faced to the right 
and sealed it with Yud Vav Heh 
Ten: He sealed north " amt faced to the left 
and sealed it with Heh Vav Yud fnn/ 



Chapter Orti' 


$1 


He chose three letters 

The Scfer Yetzirah stresses the importance of the fact that these 
fellers were chosen from among the Elemental letters. This provides 
one reason why the letters Yud Heh Vav (n») were chosen. 

As I he Sefcr Yetzirah will later explain (2:3)* in alphabetical 
order, the first three phonetic families are: 

Gutturals: Alef Heh Chet Eyin ynnw 

Labials: Bet Vav Mem Peh sou 

Palatals: Gimel Yud Kaf Kuf pan 

It if immediately obvious that the first letters on these groups arc the 
first three letters of the alphabet. Of these. Alef is one of the three 
Mothers, while Bet and Gimel are among the Doubles. In these three 
groups, therefore, the first simple letters are Heh, Vav and Yud. 
These are the letters of the Tetragrammaton, 

The primary ordering of these letters is Yud Heh Vav, According 
to the book RazkL this is because Yud includes the first four letters 
of the alphabet. Yud has a numerical value of 10, and this is the sum 
of the first four letters (1 + 2 + 3 + 4** 10), After 4 comes 5 T the 
numerical value of Heh, and then 6, the numerical value of Vav. :i * 
Further significance of these letters is discussed above (hi). 


In the mystery of the three Mothers 

The three letters of the Divine Name, Yud Heh Vav (*r) t parallel 
the three Mothers, Alef Mem Shin (rtre). See Table 12, 

As the Scfer Yetzirah later explains (3:4) T Mem is water. Shin is 
fire, while Alef is breath-air. However, we also know that Yud repre¬ 
sents Chakhmah. which is the archetype of water, and Heh represents 
Binah, which is fire, We therefore have a relationship between Yud 
and Mem. as wdl as between Heh and Shin, 

Vav has numerical value of 6. and therefore represents the six 
basic spatial directions, i3 * It also represents the six Sefirot: Chc&ed. 
Gevutah. Tiferet, Netzach. Hod, and Yesod. Among the elements, 
Vav is said to represent Air and Breath. Indeed, in Hebrew, the word 


Table \2. The three Mothers. 


Mem 

3 Water 

Chakhmah 

Yud 

t 

Shin 

v Fire 

Binah 

Heh 

n 

Alef 

* Air Breath 

The Six 

Vav 

i 






SEFER YETZOtAH 


U 

for “direction* is Ruaeh, the same as that for Breath. Vav is therefore 
derived from Alef. 

As we shall see, the three Mothers (Alef Mem Shin) represent 
thesis, antithesis and synthesis, the basic triad of Sefer Yetzirah (3; I), 
Here the text explains how a three-dimensional space is produced 
from these three concepts. 

Thesis and antithesis represent two opposite directions in a one 
dimensional line. Together with synthesis, they yield three elements. 
Since these three elements can be permuted in six different ways, 
they define a three-dimensional space having six directions™ 

He sealed "above" , . 

There are a number of ways in which the directions are repre¬ 
sented by the letters, in the Gra version, we have the following: 


tip 

YHV 

rr> 

down 

HYV 

tn 

east 

VYH 

nn 

west 

VHY 


south 

YVH 

m* 

north 

HVY 

Wl 


In this system, the axis is determined by the neutral letter Vav (i). As 
mentioned earlier, Yud is thesis, Heh is antithesis, and Vav is synthe- 
sis. Since it represents synthesis. Vav is therefore the zero point, 
which is the point on the axis. See Table I 3 and figure 11, 


UP 



Copyrighted 


r ia 


Figure II. The Gra version. 



Cf&pier Qua 


S 3 


Table 13. Various wavs the directions are symbolized. 


Direction 

Gra 1 

Short 2 

Long J 

Saadia 1 

Ari 5 

Zahar* 

TZ T 


Up 

YHV 

YHV 

HYV 

YHV 

YVH 

YVH 

VYH 

5 

Down 

HYV 

YVH 

YVH 

YVH 

HYV 

HYV 

HYV 

6 

East 

VYH 

HYV 

VYH 

HVY 

VYH 

VHY 

VHY 

7 

West 

VHY 

HVY 

VHY 

HYV 

VHY 

VYH 

YVH 

S 

South 

YVH 

VYH 

YVH 

VYH 

YHV 

YHV 

YHV 

9 

North 

HVY 

VHY 

HVY 

VHY 

HVY 

HVY 

HVY 

10 


3 Ora Version. Shmre\ JHtm, etc. 

1 Donadi, Raavad, Rftmban, EtotriL Elicaer of Wonnes (O, 

Qlam Mo Bah ftnd) h Qizar Eden HaGsnuz I?ib. 

1 Their migihl be a mistake in ihts version, since WH is repealed twice. It probably 
should be like ihc Gra version. 

* Saadi* Version 4;S, Kuzari 4:24 (63b>. 

5 Sim%t HaKavanot. fCwanot Noamum {p. 310), Siddur fiaAri. 

* Zohary.na. 

7 riiruftej' Zokar I5a,b. %rds 3:5. See Gra on TEbncy Zohar \ 6b. 


The position of the Vav thus determines the axis, The up down 
axis is reresenled by the last column, the east west axis by the first 
column, and the north south axis by the middle column. 

The direction is then determined by the remaining two letters. 
Yud and Heh, ff they are in direct order. YH (rr) T then they define 
the positive direction on the axis, If they are in reverse order, HY 
l/fl), then they define the negative direction. 

The second important system is found in the Short Version, and 
used by most of the commentaries. Here, the system isr 


up 

YHV 

rp 

down 

YVH 

rrr> 

east 

HYV 

'FTl 

west 

HVY 

■*n 

south 

VYH 

m 

north 

VHY 

■m 

Here, the axis is determined by the letter in the first column. The 
assignment is 

Yud 

* 

up down 

Heh 

n 

cast west 

Vav 

i 

up down 


The positions of Ihc last two letters then determine whether it is 
in the positive or negative direction along the given axis. 

The system found in the Long Version is very similar to that of 
the Gra, except for the up down direction. Examining it carefully. 




%s 


SfFEK YETZtRAH 


fable 14. Directions based on the Ari, Zofktr H and Titamey Zofuir. 


Sell rah 

Direction 


Ari 

Zahar 

TZ 

Chesed 

south 

right 

YHV 

YHV 

YHV 

Gevurah 

north 

left 

HVY 

HVY 

HVY 

Tiferet 

cast 

from 

VYH 

VHY 

VHY 

Netzach 

up 

ii i ■MB 

YVH 

YVH 

VYH 

Hod 

down 

down 

HYV 

HYV 

HYV 

Yesod 

west 

back 

YHY 

VYH 

YVH 


one suspects that it originally was the same as the Gra version, except 
that the first two combinations were confused This is supported by 
the fact lhat the permutation YVH. is repeated twice. 

The Saadi a version is very much like the Short Version, except 
that the permutations representing east and west are interchanged. 

Highly significant is the system of the Ari, presented in his discus¬ 
sion of the mystical meditations associated with the Four Species, The 
Four Species consist of Lhe citron (etrog), palm (fulav), myrtle (hadas), 
and willow (ttravah), The are taken on the festival of Succot (tabernac¬ 
les), following the commandment, “On the fim day, you shall take fruit 
of the citron tree, branches of palm trees, boughs of myrtle trees, and 
willows of the brook"" (Leviticus 23:40). These spedes are waved in ail 
six directions, and according to the An. the appropriate letter combine 
tion must be meditated upon for each direction , m Each of these direc¬ 
tions is also paired with its appropriate Set) rah. 




Tiferei 

East 


Gevurah 

North 

* i n 

n ’ i 

i n » 

Hod 

Down 

i * -i 

1 i 

tr i 1 


Chescd 

South 


Neirach 

lip 


Vesod 

West 


Figure 12 Tht Aris representation. 








Chapter One 


S5 


The An begins with Chesed (Lovc) T the first Scfirah* which repre¬ 
sents the south, taking l he letters of the Name in their natural order, 
YHV (rr). See Table 14. 

To determine the order for the opposite direction, the Ari then 
makes use of a system used by the Sefer Yet z \rah itself. (2:4), The 
lexi states that the two prime opposites are QVie^fANG «j?) meaning 
“delighlT and Nega (NGA yn), meaning a "plague," In forming an 
opposite, it takes the first letter and places it at the end. This is pre¬ 
cisely what is done to produce Gcvurah {Strength), which represents 
the north. The Yud (*), which was at the beginning, is now placed at 
the end. producing the combination HVY fnn). The north south axis 
is then represented by the two letters H V (m). 

The up down axis is similarly defined by the letters YV (v), with 
the position of the H (n) determining the direction. 

In this system, the first letter is also significant. For south and 
up„ the initial letter is Y (*) t while for north and down, it is H (»). 
Both of these are opposites in the three column representation, 

The east west axis is on the neutral zero point on both the up 
down line and on the north south line. In the three column represen¬ 
tation, Tiferet (east) and Yesod (west) are both in the middle line. 
Since both the middle line and the letter V (i) represent synthesis, the 
representation of both these directions begins with a Vav. Ji2 See fig¬ 
ure 12, 

The system of the Zohar is exactly the same as that of the Ari T 
except that east and west arc interchanged. TTte system of the 
Tikuney Zohar uses a similar principle, but somewhat differently. 
Later we shall see that the twelve possible permutations of 
YHVH represent the twelve diagonal boundaries (5:2). Each of the 
six basic directions can include two of the diagonal boundaries. The 
first of these is represented by the second Heh at the end of the trip¬ 
let, and the second, with this Heh at the beginning. 


We can now understand the conceptual nature of the Sefirol. The 
most primary relationship possible is that which exists between Cre¬ 
ator and creation. This is the cause effect relationship. Cause is 
Keter. while Effect is Malkhut. 

Once the concepts of Cause and Effect exist, another concept 
comes into being, namely that of opposites, if opposites exist, simi¬ 
larities must also exist. 

Two new concepts therefore come into being. These are Similar¬ 
ity and Opposite ness. In the language of philosophy these are thesis 
and antithesis. In our terminology. Similarity is Chakhmah. while 


IV I'll.' 


ihh 


;n; 



SEFER YETZIRAH 


»6 


Gcwrah 


Tiferet 



Hod 


Mclzach 


Chesed 


Y«od 


Figure IS. The m directions At space. 


Oppositeness is Binah. These are the Yud and initial Heh of the 
Tetragrammaton, 

Once Similarity and Opposition exist, another concept comes 
into being, namely Rc lo lions hip.. In philosophic terms* this is the syn¬ 
thesis between thesis and antithesis. In our present terminology, this 
is the Vav of the Tetragrammaton. The word “Vav w means a hook, 
and the letter Vav as a prefix means "and.* In both senses* it denotes 
connection and relationship. 

At this point in the logical sequence* we have five concepts: 
Cause and Effect. Similarity and Opposition* and Relationship. 
These, respectively are Keier and Mai idiot, Chakhmah and Binab. 
and the Vav, 1>J 

Until the concept of Relationship was introduced, only four 
abstract points existed: Keter and Malic hut. and Chakhmah and 
Binah. li is with the concept of Relationship that a three-dimensional 
conceptual continuum comes into existence. This defines six direc¬ 
tions, and hence* the numerical value of Vav is ft. 

Each of the four abstract concepts then gives rise to a relation¬ 
ship, Chakhmah gives rise to Chescd (Love), Binah gives rise to 
Gcvurah (Strength), Keter gives rise to Tiferet (Beauty), and MaLkul 
give* rise to Yesod (Foundation). 

As discussed earlier, in a spiritual sense, Similarity is closeness, 
while Opposition is distance. In order to give, the giver must be dose 
to the recipient. In a spiritual sense, there must be an element of simi¬ 
larity between giver and recipient. 

Therefore. Chakhmah* which is Similarity, gives rise to Chescd, 
which is the concept of giving. Conversely. Binah f which is Opposi¬ 
tion. gives rise to Gevurah, the concept of witholding. 



Chapter One 


87 


Tiferet is similarly derived from Kcter, the concept or Cause, In 
order to have the relationship of Cause, an dement must give the 
precise amount of existence or motivation required for the effect. 
This is the concept of measured giving, represented by Tiferet. 
Tiferet is beauty, the golden mean. 

Since Tiferet is derived from Keter it would be expected to be above 
Chcsed and Gcvurah. However, since Tiferct is also the synthesis 
between 

Chescd and Gevurah, it is usually represented as being below them, 

Maikhut. the concept of Effect, is usually said to be the feminine 
archetype of creation. Since Yesod is derived from MaJkhut. Yesod 
is naturally drawn to it and motivated to attach itself to it. It is for 
this reason that Yesod is said to parallel the sexual organ. It is called 
Yesod (Foundation! because it is the lowest of the six. 

Derived from the original four, there are now four new concepts: 
Chescd. Gevurah, life ret and Yesod. 

Once the concept of Relationship has been introduced, these 
four concepts are no longer merely abstract points in conceptual 
space. They are connected by the concept of Relationship. The two 
pairs, Chcsed-Gevurah and Tiferet-Yesod are like two crossing lines. 
This yields four directions in a two-dimensional continuum. 

These two dimensions can be represented in physical space. The 
Tiferet-Yesod axis can represent east-west* while the Chesed- 
Gcvurah axis can represent south-north. This then yields a two- 
dimensional continuum. 

Since the concept of Relationship exists, the relationship 
between the two dimensions themselves is also significant. In the 
conceptual space depiction, this would be represented as a line drawn 
between the two existing lines. 

The Cause-Effect or Keter-Mslkhui relationship is that which is 
primary. This is represented by the Tiferet-Yesod axis. The thesis- 
antithesis relationship was introduced only to make the cause-effect 
relationship possible. The thesis-antithesis or Chakhmah-Bmah rela¬ 
tionship is therefore secondary'. This is represented by the Chcsed- 
Gevurah axis. 

The Tiferet-Yesod axis is therefore the primary dimension, while 
the Chescd-Gcvurah axis is the secondary dimension. This yields a 
totally new concept, namely the quality of being primary or secon¬ 
dary. These, in turn, form a new, third dimension, which can be 
related to the up down direction. This is the axis linking Netzach 
(Victory) and Hod (Splendor). See Figure 13, 

With the introduction of these two concepts, the six Sefirot rep¬ 
resented by the Vav are complete. These are Chescd, Gevurah, 
Tiferet. Nelzach. Hod and Yesod. These six Sefirot represent the six 
directions in space. Together with the original four, these six yield 
the Ten Sefirot. 



u 


SEFER VET7JRAH 


1:14 


crnStt nn (jttw) no’ba nnw nrj; hx 
mm on d*od pk rmn era nno nn d»ti 
:ditii jimt aiyai nifc 


r/rese are the Ten Se/iroi of Nothingness: 
The Breath of the Living God 
Breath from Breath 
Water from Breath 
Fire from Water 
Up down east west north south. 


Aside from their theoretical in plications, the Ten Sefirot also have 
important mystical and meditative significance. The Scfer Yetzirato, 
in this first chapter, has presented a system of meditating on the 
Sefirot and of binding oneself to them. 

One may use the letters to climb the Tree of Life, but the Sefirot 
are the points where one must rest. 

There is actually an important apparent contradict ion in ihe text. 
In one section (1:6), the text says. “Their vision is like the appearance 
of lightning, . , they speak of them 'running and returning.’" This 
would imply that it is impossible to see the Sefirot for more than an 
instant, just like a flash of lightning. Later, however, the text states, 
“If your heart runs, return to the place, as it is written. "The Chayot 
running and returning"’* (1:8), This appears to say that one can go 
further, but that one should refrain from doing so. 1 * 4 

What ihe text is actually doing, however, is describing tw r o dis- 
tinct stages of initiation into the mysteries of the Sefirot. 

The first stage begins with the exercise where the initiate must 
“understand with Wisdom, and be wise with Understanding^ (1:4), 
Here he learns how to oscillate between Dinah consciousness and 
Chakhmah consciousness. On this level, he can meditate on the 
Sefirot as ten depths, allowing the mind to reach out to the infinity 
of each of these depths. Since he is still in a stale of oscillating men¬ 
tality, he sees the Sefirot like flashes of Lightning, “running and 
returning. * 

The ten infinite directions, however, represent a state of separa¬ 
tion and disunity. This is the essence of Dinah. The initiate must 


opy 


righted 


material 



Chapter One 


» 

therefore "imbed their end in their beginning*' (1:7). He must con¬ 
template the point at infinity, where all these opposing directions 
come together as one. 

This, however, is something that cannot be accomplished with Binah 
consciousness. This state of consciousness can only imagine things ver- 
bally, or depict things in physical terms. The point at infinity is both infi¬ 
nite and infinitesimal, and therefore, cannot be depicted It can only be 
contemplated with Chakhmah consciousness, 

As the text notes, this represents the unity that preceded the con¬ 
cept of number. It introduces a device very much like a Zen koan . 
asking, “Before one. what do you count’'? What is the number that 
precedes all number? 

Both the point at infinity and the koan are meant to tram the 
mind to visualize absolute nothingness. The An notes that Keter, the 
highest of the Sefirot* is often designated by the word Ay in, meaning 
“nothing,” The Infinite Being, the level above Keler, cannot even be 
designated by this word, The only word that can be used is Effes , 
which, according to the Ari T denotes a nothingness that thought 
(Binah} cannot grasp at all. 

It has been said that the best way to describe absolute nothing¬ 
ness is to speak of it as “what you sec behind your head." Since vision 
does not exist in the back of the head, whai one sees there is absolute 
nothingness. If I ask you what you see behind your head, you answer 
that you see nothing. Contemplating on what one sees behind one*s 
head is therefore a good way to learn how to visualize absolute 
nothingness. 

In general, the soul is said to consist of five pans: Nefesh, Ruach, 
Ncshamah. Chayah and Ycchidah. Of these, only the first three, 
Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah, have any effect on the mind. The last 
two. Chayah and Yechidah, are called “envelopments” { maksfm ) r 
which cannot enter the mind, JIS 

Neshamah, the highest pan of the soul that “enters" the mind, 
parallels the Sefirah of Binah. See Table 15 on page 90. Chakhmah 
consciousness is above thought, and is like something that exists out¬ 
side the mind. Or, as in the analogy used earlier, it is like what we 
“see" behind our heads. Just like something behind the head can only 
be seen if reflected i n a mirror, so Chakhmah consciousness can only 
be grasped when reflected and clothed in Binah. With relation to con¬ 
scious thought, Chakhmah consciousness is called “nothingness.* 1 ™ 

It is in this context that the text says. "Bridle your mouth from 
speaking and your heart from thinking.” "Heart" denotes Binah con¬ 
sciousness, and hence, it is saying that on this level, the initiate must 
blank out Binah consciousness completely. This is accomplished by 


pyriqhtsc 


4 



90 


SEFER YETZIR.VH 


Table 15. Levels of the soul. 


Yechidah 

Chayah 

Ketcr 

Chakhmah 

Nothingness 

Atzilut 

Neshamah 

Binah 

Thought 

Beriyah 

Ruach 

The Six 

Speech 

Yctfcirah 

Nefesh 

Maikhut 

Action 

Asiyah 


contemplating nothingness. He must maintain this level, and is 
accordingly instructed, “If your heart runs** back to Binah, ’‘return to 
the place/ This “place" is Chakhmah consciousness, which the initi¬ 
ate has already attained. Once the initiate has reached a point where 
he can maintain a slate of Chakhmah corvsdousnes, he is ready to 
actually begin climbing the Tree of Life, which is the ladder of the 
Sefirot, 

Hebrew' is written without vowels, and therefore, the third per¬ 
son and the imperative are w r ntten exactly the same. We have trans¬ 
lated the last paragraph, “He sealed north and faced to the left, and 
He sealed it with VHY/ This, however, can also be read in the 
imperative: “Sea! north* face to the left, and seal it with VHY/ 

In a similar manner, the expression, *He engraved it and He 
carved it/ can also be read in the imperative, “Engrave it and carve 
it/ IF understood in this manner, sections 1:9-13 can be read as 
instructions rather than as a theory of creation, (In Appendix I, I 
have translated the Short Version completely in the imperative, to 
demonstrate how it reads,) 

The supposition that this is describing a technique is supported 
by the last section of the Sefer Yetrirah itself, winch says of Abraham, 
“He bound the 22 letters of the Torah in his tongue... He drew them 
m water, kindled them with Tire, agitated them with breath" (6:7). 

The initiate begins by meditating on Keler, the initial “Breath of 
the Living God/ This Breath must be brought down to the level of 
Yesod fFoundation!, In doing this, he must contemplate the essence 
of “Voice, Breath and Speech/ 

Ordinary thought is verbal, and hence, consists of words. These 
words consist of letters. These are not physical letters, but mental, 
conceptual letters. These conceptual letters, however, are built out of 
“Voice. Breath, Speech/ Hence, in meditating on these concepts, one 
is actually contemplating the very roots of thought. 

In the Long Version, the test concludes, *Speech is Ruach 
HaKaiesh (DivineInspiration}/ Ruach ffaKpdesh, however, is above 
thought. Hence, the “speed/ which the text is speaking of. is a 
“speech" that precedes thought. 


'liqhi 






Chapter One 


9\ 


The second step is “Breath from Breath," The text stales, “with it 
engrave and carve 22 letters." The K abba lists explain that 
“engraving’’ and “carving" denote meditative techniques. This is sup¬ 
ported by the last section <6:7). which states that Abraham “looked, 
saw, understood, probed, engraved, and carved, and was successful 
in creation.“ 

They teach that “engraving" denotes a process where one depicts 
a letter in one’s mind. “Carving" then means that this letter is sepa¬ 
rated from all other thoughts, so that the entire mind is filled w r i:h 
it. ;3? One may do this by contemplating a letter or letter combination 
until all other images and thoughts are banished from the mind. 
Alternatively* this may be accomplished by chanting a letter in a 
manner that shall presently be described. 

This is the stage of Malkhut, where one stands at the bottom of 
the Tree of Life. It is at this stage that the initiate must work with 
the letter that he washes to use. He must then "draw it in water, and 
kindle it with fire" (6:7). The subsequent instructions therefore indi¬ 
cate how the letter is to be charged with spiritual power. 

The third step, then, is " Water from Breath." At first, the initiate 
depicts the letter in transparent air, visualizing it clearly. Now he 
must reach up to the level or Chakhmah. returning to a state of 
Chakhmah consciousness. He then begins to see the letter as if he 
were looking at it through water. This is “drawing it through water," 
The letter begins to blur and fade, as if it were being viewed through 
increasingly deep water. 

The initiate must then “engrave and carve chaos and void, mire 
and clay.” At this stage, the form breaks up and dissolves completely, 
like something seen through turbulent water. This is “chaos and 
void.” 32 * The image then fades away completely, as if it were being 
viewed through muddy water. This is “mire." Finally, all that is left is 
inky blackness, as if one were buried in totally opaque mud and clay. 

The text describes this process saying, “Engrave them like a gar¬ 
den, carve them like a wall, cover (or surround) them like a ceiling," 
First visualize this blackness beneath your feet. Your feet may then 
appear to dissolve, a phenomenon that is also mentioned in other 
ancient mystical texts. 239 Slowly, make this blackness creep over you* 
surrounding you completely like a wall. Finally, let it cover and sur¬ 
round you like a ceiling of inky black mire. Al this point, you will 
have no visual sensation whatever, neither physical nor mental. 

All through this process, you are constantly aware of the feeling 
of water, cool and absolutely calm. It is the dark, wet feeling of the 
womb, where you are totally isolated from all sensation, 

it is with respect to this state that the Midrash states. “Water 
conceived and gave birth to absolute darkness (a/eiah)^*^ This is the 
level of Chakhmah consciousness. 


igh 


4 





SIFER * ETZJRAH 



The initiate then reaches the fourth step, where he returns to a 
state of Bitmh consciousness. This is depicted as fire and blinding 
light, as the Midrash continues, “Fire conceived and gave birth to 
Light * This is the stage where one “kindles them with fire," 

Hen?, the initiate must "engrave and carve out the Throne of 
Glory, Serafim, Ophanim, and holy Chayo L w He depicts (engraves) 
and fills the mind (carves) with these images, these being the same as 
the ones visualized by the prophets. 241 He must start with the Throne, 
and then continue through the various levds of angels, ending with 
the Qrnyot in the Universe of Yeuirah. which corresponds to the Six 
Directions, The influx is thus brought to the level of Binah. 

Now the initiate must bring it to the other six Sefirot Chesed, 
Gevurah, Tiferet, NeUach, Hod. and Yesod. These are associated 
with the six directions of the physical world, which have their coun¬ 
terpart in the six days of creation. By associating the Sefirot with ihe 
six physical directions, one actually brings the influx into the physical 
domain. 

The method of drawing the influx into these lower Sefirot 
involves contemplating the three letters Yud Hch Vav (n»). These 
should be visualized as if written in the Ashurite script, with black 
fire on white fire. See figure 14. These letters should appear huge, 
filling the entire mtndJ^ 

The idea of black fire is not jusi the absence of light, but negative 
light, 24 ' The black must be so intense that it h brilliantly black, just 
as a light is brilliantly white. This is the black fire with which the 
letters must be depicted. 

While contemplating the letter combinations, one should lace in 
the appropriate direction, either physically or mentally, After com¬ 
pleting all six directions and permutations, this pan of the exercise 
is complete. 

What still remains are the astrological applications of this tech- 
nique T which will be described in chapters 4 and 5. This is the process 
described in the case of Abraham, ‘Tie ignited them with the Seven 
[Planets], he directed them with the Twelve constellations" (6:7). 


Co 



aterial 



CHAPTER TWO 


Copyrighted material 



C opy rig h led m ale ri al 



Chapter l kUD 


95 



vSv no* npjn« ovwi 

rrop ovrcn y3t?i matt 
fO¥i *pi not *p pit * 1 w"o« m m rW .tows 
noon j o w M m not pSr .D’ro^ ynso pn 
tows pnoo nn m« n jijrw w ppVi 


Dmtty-tm Foundation Letters: 

Three Mothers 
Seven Doubles 
and Twelve Elemental. 

The Three Mothers are Alef Mem Shin (vok). 

Their foundation is 
a pan of merit 
a pan of liability 

and the tongue of decree deciding between them, 
[Three Mothers, Alef Mem Shin ton; 

Mem hums r Shin hisses 
and Aief is the Breath of air 
deciding between them / 


Twenty-two Foundation Letters 

Having completed the initiation into the Ten Sefirot, the text 
now discusses the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. 


Three Mothers 

The first set of letters are the Three Mothers, which will be dis¬ 
cussed m further detail in chapter 3. Here they are introduced 
because they define the thesis-ami thesis-synthesis structure that is 
central to the teachings of Sefer Yetzirah. They also serve as an intro¬ 
duction to the meditative techniques involving the letters. 

These three letters represent the three columns into which the 
Sefiroi are divided. The right hand column, headed by Chakhmah, 
is represented by Mem. The left column, headed by Binah, is repre- 


t J 





w 


SEFER YETZJRAH 


sensed by Shin. The center column, headed by Keter, is represented 
by Alef. As discussed earlier, Chakhmab is water (which is here repre¬ 
sented by Mem), Binah is fire (which is Shin), and Ketcr is breath-air 
(which is the Aid), 

A pan of merit 

The Hebrew word for “pan" here is Kaf. This word can denote 
the pan of a scale, hut it also denotes the palm of the hand. Likewise, 
the word Lashon can be used for the longue of a balance, the pointer 
which indicates when the two pans are in equilibrium. Its usual 
mean eng, however, is the tongue that is in the mouth, 1 

Therefore, on one hand, the letters AM Mem Shin (tract) repre¬ 
sent the two pans and longue of a balance. On the other hand, they 
represent the two hands, and the ‘"covenant between them’' (l:3) t 
which is the tongue. 

The tongue of decree 

The Hebrew word for “decree" here is Chok (pn). This comes 
from the root Cftafcai (ft'yn), meaning to ^engrave." It is the “tongue 
of balance” that “engraves" the letters. This is represented by the let¬ 
ter Alef («) t the basis of the alphabet. 

In the most elemental terms, Mem t Shin and AJef represent the- 
sis, antithesis, and synthesis. 

The analogy is that of a scale. (See figure 15.) There is a pan of 
merit and a pan of liability. This is very much like 
the scale used to weigh one's merits and sins, which ts mentioned in 
the Talmud 1 In the center h the fulcrum and pointer, both repre¬ 
sented by the Atef, which is the “tongue of decree.” 



Figure 15. The stale that weighs merits and sins. 



Chapter Thv 


97 


In practical up plication, these tellers can also be used. If one 
wishes to create a situation in which he himself or another person is 
to be brought to the side of merit, one does so by making use of the 
tetter Mem fa). 3 The techniques shall be discussed Eater Similarly, if 
one w ishes to bring an enemy to the side of liability, so that he should 
be judged harshly on high, one makes use of the tetter Shin (v). Alef 
(#) is used to bring a person to be judged fairly and evenly. 

These qualities also come into play in popular usage. Humming, 
which involves pronouncing the letter Mem. is usually seen as a 
happy, pleasant, positive activity. Conversely, one hisses at a villain 
or enemy; pronouncing the tetter Shin. 


Mem hums. Shin hisses 

The Hebrew word for u hurrT here is Damam (otn), in which the letter 
Mem is dominant. Similarly, the word for “hiss* is Sh&rak (pnr), 
which begins with a Shin.* 

The humming sound associated with Mem is very calm, and it 
is thus, the sound associated with water and Chakhmah conscious^ 
ness. If one wishes to attain Chakhmah consciousness, one repeats 
this sound in the manner described like the Kafrbalists, The resem¬ 
blance between this and the "Om" chant is certainly more than 
coincidental. 

This sound is also closely associated with prophecy, which 
involves Chakhmah consciousness. The Kabbalisis say that the ‘Tine 
still ( damamah) voice" ft Kings 19:12), heard by Elijah, was actually 
a “fine humming sound." 5 This humm ing sound is used to attain such 
a state of consciousness, and as such, it is experienced when one is 
in a prophetic state. 

Just as letting is a passage in Job, which, incidentally, also 
describes the prophetic experience very graphically (Job 4:12-16): 

A word tun stolen to me 

My ear caught a touch of it 
in meditations fiom night visions 
When a trance fails on man 
Terror called me and I shuddered 
It terrorized most of my hones 
A spirit passed before my face 

Made the hair of my flesh stand on end 
It stood and / did not recognize its vision 
A picture was before my eyes 
l heard a hum (damamah) and a voice. 



SEFER YETZ1RAH 


9S 


Table lb. Shin and Mem as pronounced with (he five primary vowels. 


ShoMo 

ShoMa ShoMe ShoMi 

She Mli 

or 

pT 

oF 

dt? 

OP 

ShaMo ShaMa ShaMe ShaMi 

ShaMu 

or 

OP 

OF 

or 

do 

SheMo 

SheMa ShcMe SheMi 

SheMu 

OP 

OP 

or 

or 

OP 

Shi Mo 

ShiMa Shi Me ShiMi 

Shi Mu 

ar 

OV 

JJNp 

or 

OP 

Shu Mo ShuMa ShuMc ShuMi 

Shu Mu 

or 

In % 

nr 

or 

* \ 

OP 

□r 

\ 

_ 




■ \ 


The teller Shin has the hissing sound of sh or s, This sound is associ¬ 
ated with fire and Binah consciousness. 

The two sounds, M and $h, may also be used as a device for 
oscillating between Binah and Chakhmah consciousness. One 
invokes a strong slate of Binah consciousness by pronouncing the 
Shin, and then swings to Chakhmah consciousness by voicing the 
Mem. The pronunciation of these two letters Can also include the five 
primary vowels, in a manner that will be described below (2:5) in 
greater del ail. 

It is significant to note that these two sounds are dominant in 
the word Chashmal (Hgprth which, according to the kabbalists. is the 
interface between the physical and the spiritual. In his vision, Ezekiel 
ihus says lhal be saw, "The appearance of Chashmal in the midst of 
the lire” (Ezekiel 1:4), It was only after visualizing the Chashmal that 
Ezekiel was able to perceive the Chayoi and enter into the state of 
prophecy. In our present terminology, Chashmal would be the inter¬ 
face between Binah consciousness and Chakhmah consciousness. It 
therefore appears out of the "midst of the fire.” since it arises from 
a slate of Binah consciousness. 

Since M and Sh are the dominant consonants in Ctiashmah, it is 
possible that the word itself was used as a mantra when the prophet 
swung between Binah and Chakhmah consciousness. "The appear¬ 
ance of ChashmaP would then be ihe visual experience that one 
would have during such a stale of oscillation. Even the more 
advanced prophets, who could enier a state of chakhmah conscious¬ 
ness at wilL would use ihe term Chashmal to describe this 
interface. 1 

According to the Talmud, the word Chashmal comes from two 
words, Chash^ meaning "silence*” and Mai, indicating speech. It can 
therefore be translated as “speaking silence " 7 It is a double sensation, 
where one is experiencing the "silence" of Chakhmah consciousness, 
and the "speech" of Binah consciousness at the same time. The two 
parts of the mind are experiencing different things simultaneously 

Such double sensation can be easily experienced. Take a red glass 
and place it over the right eye, and place a green glass over the left 


Tiohte 




Chapter fun 


99 


iniHih 

m iTisninin 

V B * W * ■ V 

rn:n 211 

:n 4" ii 4^7 
irt in an^i'm 

i ' i . 1 V 1 


raninarbHa 
rc nsnarchi 

- f L * - h V i . T 

ronareni'Fo 

“rqniriris 

niniriinini 

*• » T- S * '■ V 


^’"BS eu#Kn nn 

la? 'in i n ?"j ?:id ;*•» ■?*■/) 
iWt IP^P CrtS *Ste ST# 1EP ^ 
^ c*i ccts «Trri c^r cnfl if wen 
'j’Tji'rr jpira ran tn yisriipciyyi 
md tnc ^ *ue *> [&\ 


Ftyurr i6 The word Koh m an army vtifA the five primary mow eh. 
From Shoshiin Sodcf <Tlte Rose of Mysteries). 

eye. When you look through boLh eyes, you will perceive two opposite 
sensations simultaneously. The world will take on a surrealistic, 
almost spiritual, appearance. The interface between Chakhmah and 
Binah is even more ctherial. 

The Kabbahsts also note that the two letters Shin and Mem spell 
out Shem for), the word for "name.** 1 It is through the * names" of 
objects, and in particular through divine Names, that one can make 
the transition between Chakhmah and Binah consciousness. As the 
Baal Shem Tov taught, it is through a name that one can grasp the 
spiritual essence of a person or object * 

The Zohar also says that the letters Mem and Shin define the 
mystery' of Moses, whose Hebrew name, Mosheh, is spelled Mem 
Shin Heh (two). 19 This would be an allusion to the fact that the two 
consonants, Mem and Shin, represent Chakhmah and Binah, The 
Heh has a numerical value of 5, and this would represent the five 
primary vowels, with which the combination of consonants is pro¬ 
nounced. See Table 16. 

A somewhat similar idea is taught expi icily by the early 
Kabbalists. The Torah states that Moses killed an Egyptian who was 
striking an Israelite, and the Midrash explains that this was accom¬ 
plished with a divine Name. 38 When he struck the Egyptian, the 
Torah reports that Moses 44 looked here {koh) and there {kohf' (Exo¬ 
dus 2; 12), In Hebrew, both “here" and "there'’ are Koh (toJ t a word 
which has a numerical value of 25. The K abba lists say that this repre¬ 
sents the twenty-five combinations between two letters that aie possi¬ 
ble with the five primary vowels 12 See figure 16, 


Alef is the Breath of air 

Alef is a silent consonant, and as such, it represents a simple breath 
of air. This docs not draw one toward cither state of consciousness. 





100 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


Normally, breathing is an tinconscious act, and hence, it pertains 
to ChaJchtnah consciousness. However, one can also control one's 
breathing, and si is then in the domain of Rinah consciousness. 

Consciously controlling the breath is therefore a valid technique 
for bringing together these two states of consciousness, it is also use¬ 
ful in making the transition between the two states. Thus, the 
Kabbalists make use of controlled breathing in association with such 
techniques as pronouncing two consonants with the five primary 
vowels. 11 In particular, such a breath comes between the pronuncia¬ 
tion of the Mem and the Shin, 



2 


jsny pyn jppn ito* nvnw q»rwn onry 

hi nwi Ttrn hi onn pan) ]hpw 

frch t rvn 


Twenty-two Foundation letters: 

He engraved them, He carved them. 

He permuted them , He n eighed them. 

He transformed them , 

And with them. He depicted all that was formed 
and all that would he formed . 


He engraved them 

First the letters are “engraved" out ©f nothingness, Then they are 
“carved 1 * out and separated, They are then “permuted/ - so that a 
given combination appears in different sequences. They then are 
“weighed" and manipulated according to their numerical values. 
Finally, they can be “transformed 1 * through the various standard 
ciphers. 14 These ciphers are shown in Table 17. 

Each letter represents a different type of information. Through 
the various manipulations of the letters. God created all things, |S 

The final expressions of creation were therefore the Ten Sayings, 
found in the first chapter of Genesis. Each Saying consisted of words, 
which in turn consisted of letters. 

This section can also be read in the imperative: “Engrave them, 
carve them, permute them, weigh them, and depict all that was 
formed 4 + 

When interpreted in this manner, this section is teaching a tech¬ 
nique discussed by various Kabbalists. 1 * The inmate must first depict 


Copyrighted materia 



Chapter /itfl 


LOl 


Table 17, The standard ciphers. 



the letters, ‘•engraving 7 ’ them in his mind. Then he must “carve" 
them out* making them fill his entire consciousness. After this, he 
can permute them in various ways. He can also manipulate them 
through their numerical values and the standard ciphers. 

Another important technique involved meditating on the letters 
by writing them. 1 * The simplest method was to lake a word and per¬ 
mute it in ail possible ways. If one used a set system to permute these 
letters, this was called GilguL or “cycling" of the letters, 111 in more 
advanced systems, one would also use Gem atria (numerical values) 
and the ciphers to extend the process. 




m 


SfcFEK YEIZIEUH 


In effect, writing or reciting these leuer combinations was very 
much like repeating a mantra. Il serves to blank out all thought from 
the mind and allow il to reach a state of Chakhmah consciousness. 
VisuEiliring the letters is very much like some of the more advanced 
contemplative methods of meditation, and it has a similar effect. 

Jn all, there are five basic techniques mentioned here. These par¬ 
allel the five phonetic families discussed in the next section. 1 ^ 


jam h)pi jpprr tip* n vim o tif> cttpv 
jrua jrnn« nyupn n^nnn rtazs pflp r?ra 

DK'VJ. j^TFDr }wSa “[TD p'3*5 

Twenty-two Foundation Letters 
He engraved them with wire 
He can ed them with breath 
He set them in the mouth 
In five places 

Ale/ Chet Heh Eyin in the throat 

Gimel Yud Kaf Kuf fpyi} tn the palate 
Dalet let Lamed Nutt Tav (rdvn) 
in the tongue 

Zavin Samekh Shin Resh Tzadi rinroi) 
in the teeth 

Bet Va\ Mem Feh foxo} m the lips. 

He engraved them with voice 

As explained earlier, “engrave" means to sound a letter, while 
“carve" means to express it. Some versions add, "‘He bound them to 
the tongue like a flame is bound to a burning coal," This is similar 
to an expression used above (1:7). 

In five places 

The division of the letters into five groups is presented here, but 
this is the only time that this is mentioned in Sefer Yetzirah. No 
apparent reason or application for this division is given. 

One hint may come From what we have written above (1:13). The 
three letters of the Name, Yud Heh Vav (n>), arc the firet of the 
Twelve Elementals to be found in the first three phonetic families 


(Gutturals) 

{Palatals} 

(Lingual?) 

(Denials; 
{Labials} 




ChaptfT JUv 


(03 


when taken in alphabeticat order: gutturals, labials, and palatals. See 
Table 18. 

There are two basic ways in which these families are ordered. 
The first way is that which is presented here, which starts from the 
throat, the most internal pan of the mouth, and then continues out¬ 
ward to the lips, 20 The second ordering, found in the older commen¬ 
taries, takes the groupings in alphabetical orders See Table 19 on 
page 104. 

The most obvious reason for the five phonetic families would be 
so that the divisions of the alphabet should parallel the divisions in 
the five dimensional continuum defined by Sefer Yelzirah* Indeed, 
the Kabbaiists teach that these five groups parallel the Five Loves 
and Five Strengths (see l ;3), which are the end points of these dimen¬ 
sions. z: The assignment of these families to specific dimensions, how¬ 
ever, is not indicated, although it may be derived indirectly. 

ll is significant to note that all five families are present in 
Bereshit (n^sna), the first word of the Torah. 1J 

One of the mysteries of the Sefer Yetrirah is the fact that the 
double leuers arc not mentioned. These double letters are the ones 
which have different forms in the middle and at the end of a word: 
Mem (on). Nun (p), Tzadi (ps), Pch (n»), and Kaf(-p). As the Talmud 
States, the forms of these tetters were forgotten, and later re-instituted 
by the prophets. There is absolutely no reference to these doubles 
in Sefer Yetzirafo. 

The Kabbalists, however, draw a parallel between the five pho¬ 
netic families and the five doubted letters. According to the An, the 
letters paralleling the phonetic families in the order presented here 
are: Tzadi, Nun, Kafi Mem. Pch. 2 * See Table 20 on page 104. 

Another concept that is conspicuously missing in the Sefer 
Yelzirah is that of the vowels. Here again, they form a group of five, 
the main vowels being Cholam (o) s Kametz (a), Tzereh (e), Chink (i), 
and Sburek (u)„ See Tabic 21 on page 104. These are often alluded 
to in the mnemonic Pituchcy Cbolam (onn 'nr®), the "signet engrav¬ 
ing" (Exodus 28:11) of the Bible. 3 * Another mnemonic is 


Table 18. Phonetic division of the alphabet. 



Mothers 

Doubles 

Element a is 

{Finals) 

Gutturals 



jmn 


Labials 

d 

» 

i 


Palatals 



P* 

1 

Linguals 


m 

At> 

1 

Dentals 

V 


arc? 

r 


J 















104 


5EFER YETZJRAH 


Table 

19. Ordering of the families. 





Gra-An 

Short Version 

Donash 

D 

Gutturals 

pnnst 

Gutturals 

pnre* 

Gutturals 

pnrw 

H 

Palatals 

pan 

Labia b 

*P3 

Lahiab 


IS 

Linguats 

reben 

Palatals 

pan 

Palatals 

pm 

n 

Dentals 

mpor 

Linguals 

ftfwrr 

Dentals 

anew 

E9 

Labials 


Denials 

rituf 

Linguals 

ruben 

Table 20. Parallel between phonetic families and doubled letters. 

1. 

Gutturals 


pflrw 

Tzadi 


r* 

2 

Palatals 


pm 

Nun 


P 

3, 

L ingual s 


rvhtrn 

Kaf 



4. 

Dentals 


jnra 

Mem 


S3 

5. 

Labials 


»]» 3 

Peh 


■P 


Table 21- The primary voxels, 


I, 

Choi am 

0 

X 

2. 

Kametz 

A 

X 

3. 

Tzereh 

E 

X 

4. 

Chink 

I 

X 

5. 

Shuruk 

U 

X 

% 


Table 22. Ordering of the vowels. 


Tikuney Zofonr' 

aeoiu 



Tikuney Zahar 1 

iveoa 

order 

of Pituchey Chotam 

Rabbi Elazar Rokeaeh* 

u a e i o 

order 

of Nmateyiktm 

Rabbi Elazar Rokeach -1 

aci o u 



Rabbi Abraham Abulafia* 

o a e i u 



Rabbi Joseph Gikatalia* 

o u i e a 



Emek HaMdekh’ 

uiiieo 



Rabbi Moshe Cordcvero* 

o i g a o 




1 TVmmjf Zahar, Introduction (4b), 5(20a| b 19 <3Sa„ 41*}. 

1 Ibid ImroJuchgn i I4*h ?0 (!35bV, 

J CgjnEiienmry ran Sqfct Y^tiirah 4b. See ftirdcs Rttn&ntm 21:2. 

4 ibid p 14b. 

i Or HiiSifkW S;t, tfMOied i* JtiJMMfai 21:1 tt Stfer IlaXikkud. 

* Cimt Egm 25*. 

I Emek MuMtkkk 9c. 

1 Parries Ri nion tm 30:2. 


















Chapter Tm 


i05 


Table 23. Ftionic groups and Sefitot. 



Ari 

Ramak 

Vowel 

Final Letter 

Gutturals 

jrms 

Hod 

Chesed 

i 

Tzadi 

ft 

Palatals 

pan 

Netzach 

Gevurah 

e 

Nun 

P 

Linguals 


Tiferet 

Tiferet 

o 

Kaf 

■P 

Dentals 


Gevurah 

Netzach 

a 

Mem 

CO 

Labials 


Chesed 

Hod 

u 

Peh 

ns 


Nutareyikon (flpHQa). 37 Although there are other vowels in Hebrew, 
these five are considered to be the root vowels, both by the 
grammatarians end by the Kabbalists. 

The Zohar clearly draws a parallel between the five phonetic 
families and the five prime vowels, and this is echoed by other 
Kabbalists, 21 The five primary vowels would then also represent the 
five dimensions of the Sefer Yeizirah. 

In general, the five vowels are very important in the use of the 
Sefer Yctzirah. The usual procedure is to take a pair of letters, pro¬ 
nouncing them with the twenty-five possible combinations of the five 
vowels. This appears in the system of Rabbi Abraham Abulafia, as 
well in various techniques of making a Golem. There appear, how¬ 
ever. to be a number of different opinions as to the ordering of the 
vowels, and a few of these are presented in Table 22, 29 

Some of the later Kabbalists also assign the five phonetic famri 
lies to the five Scfiroi; Chesed, Gevurah. Tiferet, Netzach and Hod. 
Yesod is not included, since, in this respect. Yesod and Tileret are 
counted as one. 10 Furthermore, Yesod pertains to melody rather than 
to sound. 11 There is. however, a difibrencc of opinion between the 
Ari and the Ramak as to whether the Sefirat are to be taken in 
descending or in ascending order. 53 The five main vowels are also 
assigned to these same Sefirot. 33 See Table 23. 

The first due as to how to assign these to the five-dimensional con- 
timittm comes from the ordering of the final letters in the Talmud: Mem 
Nun Tzadi Fen Kaf (tezso). In all sources, both Talmudic and 
Kabbahsik\ the tetters are presented in this order, The correct alphabeti¬ 
cal order of the tetters, however, would be: Kaf Mem Nun Peh Tzadi 
See Table 24 on page 106. The question then arises: why are these 
letters usually not presented in their alphabetical order? M 

Earlier (1:3), however, we have spoken of the division of the Ten 
Sefiroi into two groups representing the two hands. These are the Five 
Loves and the Five judgments. In the order of the SefiroL they are: 

Five Loves: Keter, Chakhmah, Chesed. Tiferet. Nctzacb. 

Five Judgments: Bsnah. Gevurah, Hod, Yesod. Malkhut. 


iqhi 












106 


SEFER YETZJRAH 


l! is immediately obvious that each group Tepnesents a set of end points 
in the five-dimensional continuum. The pairing in this continuum tg 


Keter-Malkhut 
Chakhmah-Binah 
Chesed-Gevura h 
Tiferet Yesod 
Netzach-Hod 


Good-Evil 
Past-Future 
South-North 
East-West 
Up-Down 


If we now take the final letters in alphabetical order and line 
them up with the Five Loves in order, we have the following 
assignment: 

1 Kaf - Keter {Malkhut) 

o Mem - Chakhmah (Hinah) 

I Nan * Chesed (Gevurahl 

1 Pch - Tiferel lYesod) 

f Tzadi - Netzach (Hod) 


We now must take the Five Strengths as the opposite end points in 
the five-dimensional continuum, Placing them in order, we then have: 


Binah - Mem a 
Gevurah - Nun | 
Hod ~ Tzadt f 
Yesod - Pch t 
Malkhut - Kaf -j 


Table 24. The correct alphabetical order of !be tellers. 


Dimension 

Sefiroi 

Final 

Letter 

Phonetic 

Family 

Vowel 

Spiritual 

Keter- Malkhut 

Kaf 

naStrr 

0 

Time 

Chakhmah-Binah 

Mem 

ntpot 

a 

North-South Chesed-Gevurah 

Nun 

pyi 

e 

East-West 

Tiferet-Yesod 

Pch 

noo 

u 

Up-Down 

Netzach-Hod 

Tzadi 

yrmx 

i 


Table 25 Parallel ordering of the letters. 


Five loves 

Five strengths 

o mhon 

a n to 

e pyi 

u *pa 

i yrtriK 

a jr'it'Ut 

e pan 

i pnnw 

u yyn 

o ruStn 


1 rich lei 









Chapter Tko 


107 


This is the precise order in which these letters are usually pre¬ 
sented, and this hardly appears to be coincidental„ Also significant is 
the fact that the An states that the usual order MNTzFKIj (tiwd) 
only applies to these letters when they parallel the Five Strengths, 
When they relate to the Five Loves* they are in direct alphabetical 
order 35 See Table 25, 

Since each of the final letters represents one of the phonetic fam¬ 
ilies, these can also he assigned to their appropriate dimension. 

In relating the five primary' vowels to these phonetic families, 
the Zohar presents them in the order i u e o a, this being the order 
that they appear in PiTuCheY ChoTaM (ann Since the Zahar 

here presents the phonetic families in alphabetical order, a parallel 
can immediately be drawn: 


Gutturals 

pnrrH 

i 

Chink 

Labials 

*p\2 

u 

Shurek 

Palatals 

psm 

e 

Tzereh 

Linguais 

rtiScn 

o 

Cholam 

Dentals 

arrcreT 

a 

Kamctz 


We now have three groups of five: the phonetic families, the final 
letters* and the primary vowels. All these can be related to the five 
dimensions.. 

As all the sections, this one can also be read in the imperative, 
providing an important technique. The text then says, “Engrave them 
with voice, carve them with breath, and set them in the mouth in 
five places ” 

The i nstruction is to carefully pronounce each letter of these five 
families. This is “engrave them with voice," Then one must “carve 
them with breath,” contemplating each letter carefully, and concen¬ 
trating on the breath that is exhaled while it is pronounced. Finally, 
one must ^set them in the mouth," meditating on the place in the 
mouth with which the leitcr is pronounced. 

In this exercise, each Family may also be pronounced with its 
appropriate vowel. This yields a chant that can be used for this exer- 
else. See Table 26 on page I OS. 

The purpose of this exercise is to make the initiate highly aware 
of the physical processes involved in pronouncing the letters. While 
speech itself involves Binah consciousness, the pronunciation df the 
letters is an automatic activity, and hence, it involves Chakhmah 
consciousness. 

W'ith this exercise, the initiate learns to make use of the letters 
with Chakhmah consciousness. By pronouncing them physically, he 
then clothes them in Binah. It is through this exercise that he teams 
to use the letters as "paths of WisdomJ* 


iv ric 


.hr, 


:ri; 



SEFER YFTZHUH 


m 


Table 2ft. A chant utilizing the five phonetic families,. 


A t ha Ha "A 

v n n « 

Ge Ye Ke Ke 

p?:i 

!3o To Lo No To 

D 3 V o h 

Zi Si Shi Ri Tzi 

I T V p I 

Bu Vu Mu Pu 

d a i 3 

■v % ^ V 


In the first section of this chapter, the two Mothers, Mem and 
Shin, were used as an exercise to oscillate between Chakhmah and 
Binah consciousness. The second section presented an exercise 
involving the pronunciation and permutation of letters, making them 
fill the entire mind. Now we have a third exercise* where one medi¬ 
tates on the physical processes involved in pronouncing the letters* 
drawing all of them mio t’hakhmah consciousness. 

Once this has been mastered,, the initiate is ready to embark on 
the more advanced techniques involving the 231 Gales. 



fas bjhiz )]}ip to* nrnw o 'jipi ompp 
iinKi wan -wii onjrv «*Va natn 
n*ra ilyo nSyo 1 ? naitn px imh p*Dl 

:j ?12Q noaS 


iWenty iwo Foundation Letters: 

He placed them m a circle 
like a wall with 231 Gates. 

The Circle oscillates back and forth, 

A sign for this is: 

There is nothing in goad higher than Delight 
(Ontg—iw) 

There is nothing evil lower than Plague (Nega —jay. 

In a circle 

The word for “circle” here is Galgai. This can also be translated 
as “sphere" or “cycle," Later, the Sefer Yetzirah speaks of the Galgai 
again, saying, "The cycle {galgai ) in the year is tike a king in the pro- 
vcnce" (6:3). 


y righted 


r ia 




Chapter 


109 

The firsi chapter spoke of the 32 paths of Wisdom, As discussed 
there (1:1 1, the number 32 t when written out, spells jLpv, meaning 
‘‘heart.** The text later speaks of the mystical experience by saying, 
“If your heart runs” (1:8). It also warns. “Bridle vour... hear; from 
thinking" (1:8), 

The first chapter thus speaks of one aspect of kingship* which is 
the heart. As the text later says* ‘"The bean in the soul is like a king 
in war” (6:3), The heart therefore dominates the continuum of the 
spiritual. Mow. in the second chapter, the text is turning to a second 
aspect of kingship, the Cycle (galgal), which dominates time. 

In general, if a number of points are placed in a circle, the num¬ 
ber of possible lines that can connect any pair of points can be easily 
calculated. If we let n be the number of points, and L the number of 
tines, the formula is: 

L- n (n — l)/2 

Take the number, multiply it by the number below it, and divide by 
two. 

Thus, three points in a circle can be joined by three lines, four 
points by six lines, five points by ten lines, and six points by fifteen 
lines. Sec figure 17 on page I SO, A given number of points can always 
be joined by the number of lines provided by the above formula. 

The number of lines that can connect the 22 letters placed m a 
circle is therefore (22 x 21 )/2, See figure I§ on page 111. Making the 
calculation, we find that there are 231 such lines. These are the 231 
Gates, 


Like a wali.. 

This can also be read in the imperative: "Place them in a circle, 
like a wall with 231 gates.” 

The Kabbalists present an important meditation regarding these 
gates. 37 This is based on a text in the first chapter. "Engrave them 
like a garden, carve them like a wall, deck them like a ceiling" 
( 1 : 11 ). 

The inmate must contemplate the ground, visualizing it as 
murky black mud. He must then "engrave" the 22 letters, forming 
each one in his mind. These should make a circle in the ground. 

Then he must "carve them like a wall,” He must “carve* each 
letter out of the ground and stand each one up, making a circle of 
letters, surrounding him like a wall. One of the major Kabbalists, 
Rabbi Isaac of Acco, speaks of a similar meditation, where the letters 
are visualized on the horizon. 35 


C 



maleri 



no 


SEFEK YETORAH 





4 Points 
t Lines 



6 Points 
15 Lints 



£ Points 
28 Lines 

Figure 17. Lines connect mg points in a circle. 


7 Points 
21 Lines 


Copy righted 


slerial 


Chapter 7 ho 


m 



Figure 18. The 231 Gates. 



* B 

Figure 19 22 points* 231 tines. The 231 tines umnetimg the 22 letters 
are the 231 Gates. 

















ns? vn -p t ?y f b 7? yp 

pi [a ob 

ba 

T '0 on 

nt 

n m m 

'll 13 3* 

mo?p iy pa fy n® 

y* so |S 

S3 

b T TO *ft 

01 

man 

ni T 3 1 W 

np n tss pi? 

■p fn ob 

P 

o'- bo 71 

u 

oi nn n 

ii na tr 

nar fb tp po 

pj TO yb 

03 

p op bn 

T 

ft on til 

tj n« 

m fj? tp 

pi ra *f> 

ys 

v* p sn 

bt 

7 in or 

na p w 

ny vt 

ti pa fh 

■p 

Jft 00 [ft 

or 

bt in *n 

m na m 

JRD 

Vi t® pb 

P 

T yo on 

P 

a* bn p 

n oa nx 


IE VG lb 

P 

jf* no pn 

Of 

p on bn 

11 »□ OX 


no pb 

13 

p* f o 71 

y* 

pi p or Si "|3 *x 


nb 

VO 

i» po fft 

7 

yt on p 

qj ba -jw 



no 

r> to pn 

r 

7 yn pi 

Ti so b« 




rr po m 

pr 

p 71 jn 

o> p ON 




no on 

7 

pi fn nn 

yi oa fat 




nr 

FT 

7 pn p 

7 yz ox 





n? 

pi in pn 

T# no jw 






rn pn in 

pj pa v 






irt fir; 

"o pa p* 






m 

tO 13 pH 







na oa m 







naPK 







m 


Fiwttre 20. The 231 Gates in a triangular array. Logical Method. 


[ 

n 

P 

T 

? 

V 

3 

y 

0 

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3 


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Figure 21. Initial army used it i the Kabbatisnc Method. 








Chapter JVw 


113 

Next, the initiate must “deck them like a ceiling.” He must imag¬ 
ine the 231 lines connecting the 22 letters, and depict them like a 
Ceiling over his head. 

Once he has completed this exercise, he is ready to make use of 
the circle. If he wishes to use it to create* he must proceed in direct 
order, beginning with the Alef. Focusing the mind on the Alef, he 
then follows each of the 21 paths emanating from it to the other let¬ 
ter** from Bet to Tav, He continues in this manner* using all the other 
letters. See figure 19 on page 11 L 

According to some* this is also a technique for making a Golem. 
If one wishes to destroy it* one proceeds in the precise opposite direc¬ 
tion. beginning with Tav, and ending with Aleph* 

Some commentaries present a more primitive method, where the 
initiate actually draws a circle around the object that he wishes to 
form.* 9 Proceeding in a circle* be chants the letter combinations, first 
Alef with all the other letters* then Bet* until the alphabet is com¬ 
pleted . If one wishes to destroy the creation* he proceeds in the oppo¬ 
site direction. 

It is also related that the disciples of the Riva* attempted to use 
the Sefer Yetzirah to make a creature* They went in the wrong direction* 
however* and sunk in the earth up to their waists through the power of 
the letters. Trapped, they cried out for help. The Riva was finally con¬ 
tacted, and he told his other disciples to recite the alphabets while pro¬ 
ceeding in the opposite direction, until the others were freed. 41 

There is some question as to whether ^proceedings here means 
that one should actually walk around the circle, or whether it means 
that one must merely move around it mentally and meditatively* 


With 231 Gates 

The number 231 represents the number of ways in which two 
different letters of the Hebrew alphabet can be connected* This num¬ 
ber also is the number of two letter words that can be formed with 
the letters, provided the same letter is not repeated, and provided 
that order is not considered. These combinations may be arranged in 
a triangle, 45 

This first method is called the Logical Method (figure 20)* 
Besides this* there is also a Kabbalistic Method (figure 21).which is 
somewhat more complex* 43 

In the Kabbalistic Method* one begins by writing the entire 
Hebrew alphabet* from Alef to Tav* On the second line, one writes 
every other letter, ending with Shin. One then skips ihe Tav and 
begins once again with Alef The sequence therefore repeats itself* 


Copyrighted material 



114 


SEFtR YETZLRAH 


TT V 

TP 

TD 

JTC 


So 

T5 

nr 

pi 

~a 

TO 


so 

03 

or 

m 

KU 

PD 

do 

so 

tn 

IK 

TP 


m 

2P 

TfO 

Sa 

n 


PS 

n 

TK 

i?t) 

si 


DO 

nn 

«p 

DO 

n 

US 

OB 

TO 

m 

ru 

TO 


ns 

St 

ap 

30 

TU 

P3 

TK 

» 

T37 

od 

V 

Ot 

KB 

3T 

to 

01 

pu 

tit 

FO 

3P 

'3 

3D 


Sn 

TO 

w 

It 

no 

TO 

&T 

ra 

TP 

31 

SO 

etc 

Tt 

DT 

P* 

is 

TO 

n 

ra 

TO 

IS 

no 

Sj 

FT 

TO 

30 

V 


03 

on 

PT 

PO 

U3 

no 

IP 

"IS 


or 

TO 

h* 

Sn 

Sit 

Sit 

Set 

S« 

Sit 

Sit 

Set 

Sm 

Sk 

3U 

Bp 

1® 

TO 

ZD 

K3 

IPO 

pt 

set 

03 

TO 

V 

TO 

20 

Tt 

PI 

So 

rtp 

TO 

no 

tn 

IN 

as 

13 

|5T 

Otr 

to 

ltd 

si 

=f> 

na 

OT 

OK 

no 

nr 

jr 

HB 

Tt 

V 

Tp 

*1 


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PN 

ta 

pi 

00 

sprs 

33 

«? 

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id 

do 

TO 

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13 

po 

TO 

3P 

2! 

Ss 

ITT 

*0 

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na 

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TO 

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to 

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q? 

ttn 

00 

st¬ 

tt 

30 

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t* 

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ro 

id 

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no 

is 

TO 

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TO 

00 

op 

p* 

tti 

7R 

02 

so 

sp 

CN 

23 


IT 

no 


Sd 

30 

JN3 

xp 

TU 

TO 

Figure 22 . 

The 23 i (jaws 

aceordi rig 

rw /Ae Ktibbalisik 

Method, 

0 

\ 

2 

3 

4 


5 

6 

7 

s 

9 

0 

2 

4 

6 

5 


0 

2 

4 

6 

8 

0 

3 

6 

9 

2 


5 

8 

1 

4 

7 

0 

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8 

2 

6 


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6 

0 

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0 

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0 


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0 

$ 

0 

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0 

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2 

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4 


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6 

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2 

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6 

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8 

6 

4 

2 


0 

8 

6 

4 

2 

0 

9 

8 

7 

6 


5 

4 

3 

2 

l 


figure 23 - A number array resembling the iriftiai array used at the 
Kahbiliistic Method 


In the third Line, one writes every third letter, in the Fourth, every 
fourth letter, continuing until the 2t tines have been completed. One 
then has the initial array. 

The eleventh line is particularly interesting. Since 22 is divisible 
by eleven, the two letters* Alef and Lamed, repeal themselves for the 
entire line. 


Copyricihied material 




Chapter Tlfp 


115 


The next step is to lake ihe array and break it into pairs. This 
yields 21 lines and 11 columns, producing a total of 231 pairs. These 
are the 231 Gales according to the Kabbalislic Method. See figure 22. 

This system is actually not as complex as ii first appears. To 
understand it more thoroughly, we can take a similar array, using the 
numbers from 0 to 9 instead of letters. 

It is quite simple to make such an array. See figure 23, In the 
first line, one merely counts from 0 to 9, In the second line, one 
counts by two. As soon as we reach JO. we merely use the last digit, 
In the third line, we do the same, counting by three and using only 
the final digit. The rest of the array is formed using subsequent 
numbers, 

What we actually have then is a simple multiplication table, 
where only the last digits have been retained. Clearly obvious in this 
array is the diagonal symmetry , which is also found in the alphabeti¬ 
cal array. 

The fifth line is particularly significant. When one counts by 5, 
one obtains the numbers 5, 10, 15, 25, and so on. Therefore, when 
only the last digits are taken. 5 and Q alternate on this line. The same 
is true of the devenih tine in the alphabetical array, where the Alef 
and the Lamed alternate. 

One then divides the array into double columns, to form a 
numerical analogue qf the 231 Gates. The only difference is that 
when working with the alphabet, we are, in effect, using a number 
base of 22, See figure 24 on page 116, 

One thing that is immediately apparent is the fact that even 
though we obtain 45 pairs, they do not correspond exactly to the 45 
unique pairs that can be obtained from 10 digits. See figure 25 on 
page 1 16. We actually find that 14 pairs are missing, while an equal 
number are repeated. The most glaring example of this is the repeti¬ 
tion of the combination 05, which occurs five times. Another 
redundancy is 80. which is merely the reverse of 08. 

lust as one cart begin each sequence from Alef so one can also 
begin it from Bet One would then have a similar array, with each line 
beginning with a Bet instead of an Alef. Each letter of the Bel array 
would be one higher than the corresponding letter in the Alef array. One 
can make similar arrays with all the letters of the alphabet. 

Very important is the eleventh line, where the letter pairs repeat 
themselves. In the Alef array, the letters Alef and Lamed repeat them¬ 
selves in this line. In the Bel array, the letters Bet and Mem will 
repeat themselves. As subsequent arrays are constructed, ihe repeat¬ 
ing letters continue to conform to those in the ALBaM (t» b«> cipher. 
See figure 26 oo page i 16, 


r 




SEFER V ETZ1RAH 


114 


01 

23 

45 

67 

89 


46 

80 

24 

68 

03 

69 

25 

81 

47 

04 

82 

60 

48 

26 

05 

05 

05 

05 

05 

06 

28 

40 

62 

84 

07 

41 

85 

29 

63 

OS 

64 

20 

86 

42 

09 

87 

65 

43 

21 


Figure 24. A numerical analogue of the 23 / Gates as formed hy the 
Kabbotfcrir Method. 


01 

02 

03 

04 

05 

06 

07 

08 09 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 

23 

24 

25 

26 

27 

28 

29 


34 

35 

36 

37 

38 

39 



45 

46 

47 

48 

49 




56 

57 

58 

59 





67 

68 

69 






78 

79 







89 









Figure 25 . The 45 unique pairs obtainable from ten digits. 



S* 

2® 

D2 

U 

J3 

TO 

FI 

rty 

jn 

is 

« 

nr 

rr 

np 

pr 

tr> 

TO 


V* 

w 

PB 


Figure 2 o The ALBeM cipher. 


Copyrighted material 







Ckapur Two 


1E7 


This holds true until one reaches the Kaf array, where the letters 
Kaf and Tav repeat, tn the Lamed array, the letters Akf and Lamed 
repeat, so that this is the reverse of the Alef array. The repeating let* 
lets id the subsequent arrays are the reverse of those in the first 
eleven arrays. 

Therefore, there are eleven arrays where the eleventh line has the 
pairs in the ALBaM sequence repealing. The next eleven arrays have 
their reverse repeating. 

A number of somewhat similar arrays are used by the laier 
Kabbalists. 44 Instead of using the Kabbahstit Method, however, they 
merely skip a number of letters in the second column, and then 
proceed with the alphabet in its usual order. It is not dear if these 
later Kabbahsts did this so as to conceal the true method, or if it 
actually represents a completely different procedure. See figure 27 on 
page 113. 

According to either procedure, there are eleven arrays in which 
the pairs represented by ALBaM are dominant. Then, there are 
another eleven arrays where the reverse of these pairs are 
dominant. 

The first eleven arrays are said to represent the eleven Scfirot 
when the quast-Seftrah Daat (Knowledge) is also included. The 
sequence is: Ketcr t Chakhmah. Bin ah, DaaL Chesed. Gevurah. 
Tiferel, Netzach, Hod, Yesod* Malkhut 

The first eleven arrays, where the pairs of ALBaM are in direct 
order, represent the “fronf* of these eleven Sell rot. The second set of 
eleven, where these pairs are reversed represent the ‘'back" of the 
Sell rot. These arrays are presented in Appendix III. 

Although the Sefer Yctzirah says. “Ten and not eleven** (1:4), 
this is only speaking of the inner essence of the Scfirot. When we 
speak of their representation as letter arrays, we are speaking of their 
outer essence, and here Paat (Knowledge) is also counted, making 
eleven, 4 * 

These arrays are very important in binding oneself to the SefiroL 
They arc also used in the creation of a Golem, 

According to the early Kabbalists, the 231 Gates are alluded to 
in the name Israel. 4 * In Hebrew, Israel is spelled YiSRAeL (benr*). 
These letters can also spell out YeSh RLA (kVi *?'}, which literally 
means, “there are 231.” 

The M tdrash states that at the beginning of creation, “Israel rose 
in thought/' 41 The name “Israel" thus alludes to the fact that creation 
took place through these 231 Gates. According to the later 
Kabba lists. these 23! gates are what remained in the Vacated Space 
that preceded creation,’ 14 

When the Sefer Yeizirah speaks of the M 32 Paths of Wisdom, 1 " it 
uses the word Nativ for “path.* 1 The numerical value of Nativ (avtfl 


py rig hied materia 



I IQ 


SfcFER YETZJRAH 


% 

n v 

T 


po 

3d 

Sa 

•o 

fit 

m 

"U 

OK 

\ 

an 

n 

py 

cp 

03 

ab 


on 

n 

m 

IK 

1 

33 

res 

Y 1 

3fS 

JTO 

JO 

S3 

*0 

re 

n 

IK 

n 

u 

an 

tn 

P» 

UST 

03 

oS 

a 1 

on 

n 

rtK 

i 

m 

33 

TO 

T 

VC 

yo 

33 

S3 

*0 

re 

X 

1 

in 

U 

on 

tn 

p* 

cy 

03 

oS 

a* 

on 

W 

1 

n 

m 

13 

TO 

■ V 


yo 

3d 

Sj 

13 

hk 

1 

re 


-n 

an 

jn 

P» 

BV 

03 

dS 

? 

OK 

n 

t?n 

n 

m 

;3 

TO 

T 

ra 

J?0 

30 

Sj 

’K 

1 

*0 

m 


-a 

an 

Bn 

P» 

ay 

03 

oS 

OK 

re 


on 

n 

m 

n 

nr 

V 


yo 

3d 

bK 

| 

Sa 

’Q 

re 

rr 

Ti 

an 

rn 

pi 

51? 

U 

OK 


33b 

3* 

an 

ti 

m 

13 

TO' 

V 

3fC 

j?0 

IK 


30 


11 

re 

VI 

*0 

IP 

n 

|W 

sy 

OK 

n 

n 

th 

> 

on 

n 

m 

JQ 

TO 

T 

ys 


i 

jro 

ia 

Sa 

*0 

re 

n 

11 

an 

en 

P> 

&W 

\ 

D? 

U3 

nb 

S’ 

on 

n 

rrr 

13 

TO 

T» 

TK 

K 

ITS 

yo 

33 

ba 

TJ 

nt 

tt 

m 

on 

B1 



psr 

tsy 

03 

Sb 

3' 

on 

ti 

m 

13 

TO 

TK 

rr 

T 

VD 

po 

32 

S3 


nr 

tn 

TS 

in 

OK 

1 

Bn 

py 


P3 

oS 

3* 

on 

ti 

m 

51 

PK 


Figure 27. The 231 Gates according 10 the later Kabbalists, This is the 
Ale/ array corresponding to Keter. (Note how the (effort of the Tetra- 
gramntafott spelled out . are lined up with the lines J 


is 462^ exactly twice 23 L Since each of the 231 Gates contains two 
letters, there are a total of 462 letters in each array. 4 * It is therefore 
evident that the “Paths of Wisdom" are related to these arrays* In 
some versions of Sefer Yetzirah, the actual reading is *462 
Gates *** 1 

There is, however* a very ancient tradition which reads 221 
Gates rather xhm 231** 1 This is the reading favored by Rabbi Eliezer 
Rokeach of Wormes, who learned it by tradition from Rabbi 
Ychudah HaChasid.^ See figure 2ft. 

The Kabhahsts note that this number is based on the Talmudic 
teaching that in the Future World. King David’s cup will hold 221 mea¬ 
sures, ,3 This is based on the vetse, “You have aim united my head 
with oi^ my cup is overflowing* (Psalms 23.5), In Hebrew, 
“overflowing" is Revayah M which has a numerical value of 221. 

The term Revayah is later used by Sefer Yctzirah to denote the 
“temperate" season, paralleling the letter Alef (3:5, 7), Just as the Alcf 
serves as the intermediate between Shin and Mem. these arrays might 


Tight* 


i ri 31 




Chapter Ikr> 


119 


jto 

V 


PI? 

32 

S3 

t5 

nt 

fi 

11 

3K 

V? 

po 


0T 

ra 

«F 

P* 

oq 

30 

n 

at 

Tfi 

33 

nrr 

3F 

33 

bo 

u 


pa 

n 

IK 

?v 

31 

IV 

ao 

d 

sp 

D3 

n 

FB 

00 

IK 

ra 

m 

TO 

►i 

ns 

Vr 

3P 


TP 


IK 


if 

DO 

F 

or 

«& 

31 

FD 

03 

po 

TK 

jra 

as 

u 

Y3 

"P 

brc 

TO 

IF 

Jf 


n« 

ca 

ns 

np 

35 

30 

KD 

tF 

01 


ip 

to 

11 

xo 

no 

ID 

TTF 

Si 

pr 

T3 

3D 

P 

•K 

m 

01 

p 

i* 

F3 

MO 

JD 

r® 

IJ7 

OF 

3* 





Si 





3F 

W 

TP 

ID 

343 

K3 

FO 

P» 

SI 

ra 

OK 

F 

10' 

33 

TT 

J?1 

Sf 

nr 

TO 

no 

31 

m 

DC 

u 

pn 

OF 

IF 

«0 

as 

3P 

10 

FT 

OK 

no 

rr 

IF 

K3 

XI 

V 

13 

n 

'» 

30 

yK 

to 

pi 

m 

FI 

3D 

Kt 

op 

10 

OF 

13 

PM 

d 

?F 

10 

3P 

3t 

Si 

rn 

*0 

U 

no 

3W 

is 

ca 

FI 

13 

Bp 

kh 

00 

PF 

J1 

30 

PK 

TT 

►33 

V? 

ru 

1*3 

So 

XF 

31 

13 

IP 

TK 

n 


30 

03 

PF 

Ml 

H 

03 

OB 

BP 

FM 


H 

It 

IP 

►3 

Sq 

3D 


*P 

IF 

me 


Figure 28. The 221 Gules according to Rabbi Eliezar Rakeach of 
Wormes (1160-/237). 


serve as a means of transition between Birrnh and Chafchmah 
consciousness. 

Also significant is the context of this teaching. The beginning of 
this verse is r "You have annotated my head with oil" This alludes 
to the feeling of being bathed in oil which is frequently encountered 
during the mystical experience. 54 Attaining such an experience is 
therefore associated with these 221 Gates. 

The number 221 is also significant as being the product of two 
primes, 17 and 13. The numbers can therefore be placed in a unique 
array. 

This system follows logically from the ICabbeJistic Method dis¬ 
cussed earlier. In the array produced by this method, the two letters, 
Alef and Lamed, are repeated eleven times. Since this is a single com¬ 
bination, such repetition is redundant In Eliezer Rokeach’s system, 
the Alef-Lamed pair is used only once. Since ten such pairs are omit* 
ted, instead of 211 Gates, one is left with 22L 

Similar arrays can be made beginning with the other letters. 
These are presented in Appendix ITL 





20 


5EFER YETZIRAH 



01 

29 

38 

47 

56 

02 

39 

48 

57 

16 

03 

12 

49 

58 

67 

04 

13 

59 

68 

27 

05 

14 

23 

69 

78 

06 

15 

24 

79 

38 

07 

16 

25 

34 

89 

08 

17 

26 

35 

49 

09 

18 

27 

36 

45 


Figure 30. Numerical atutiogue of Abutqfia's array. 

Another important representation of the 231 Gales is that of 
Rabbi Abraham Abulafu.* 1 This is somewhat like the Logical Array, 
but it is set in a rectangle, with the upper right side arranged so as 
to fill in the missing letters (figure 29). The structure is discernable 
when one studies its numerical analogue (figure 30). Close examina¬ 
tion shows some redundancy in this array. Certain combinations are 


Copyrighted material 




Chapter 75*w 


121 


ah 

S3 

D 1 

pa 

&n 

TT 

pi 

Tf 

n 

m 

3* 

DD 

* 

D3 

r 

S3 

3m 

pr 

m 

en 

jrr 

Ht 

20 

vh 

pa 

& 

SO 

pn 

Tt 

01 

m 

n 

IK 

V 

DO 

yb 

S3 

s* 

pa 

nn 

1ST 

m 

T3 

rw 

CJ 

PO 

cS 

S3 

F 

its 

vn 

rtr 

ii 

ra 

is 

no 

V3 

PC 

*b 

P3 

T 

va 

PR 

nj 

a 

m 

>‘0 

32 

Y5 

F* 

13 

U' 

JTO 

m 

u 

□ 

n« 

pn 

CD 

yj 

po 

bb 

P3 

JT 

n 

a 

ra 

Off 

fij? 

YD 


"S3 

t?b 

ra 

m 

n 

ni 

GQ 

»*e 

pr 

tv 

i» 

"U 

ce 

nb 

n 

rn 

a; 


2X 

YS 

W 

"ID 

tfj 

na 

rt 

m 

trr 


32 

b« 

r 

i» 

np 

STB 

na 

m 

on 

n 

33 

b3 

2K 

py 

TJ3 

®7 

no 

nr 

ai 

■si 


bi 

02 

3K 

pn 

TY 

trp 

ny 

Of 

•t 

art 

bn 

m 

12 

oa 

T 

17Y 

ra 

on 

*r 

31 

bn 

an 

n 

32 

P* 


rp 

ra 

'n 

3T 

bi 

art 

in 


pa 

3K 

tr\ 

tp 

*53 

3n 

br 

at 

rt 

m 

Vi 

32 

YH 

m. 

m 

CO 

bn 

OT 


on 

jn 

*32 

S3 

P* 

rir 

3* 

*50 

on 

JT 

D1 

yrr 

in 

SI 

pa 

n« 

ra 

V 


n 

er 


M 

jn 

iw 

T2 


ba 

a* 

it? 

on 

yf 

ft 

3rrt 

Pb 

no 

ra 

m 


Figure 31. Abulafia's array modified to remove redundancies 


01 

29 

38 

47 

56 

02 

39 

48 

57 

46 

03 

12 

49 

58 

67 

04 

13 

59 

68 

37 

05 

14 

23 

69 

78 

06 

15 

24 

79 

28 

07 

16 

25 

34 

89 

OS 

17 

26 

35 

19 

09 

18 

27 

36 

4S 


Figure 32 . Numerical analogue of Abuhfia $ array modified hi remove 
redundancies. 


repeated, while others are omitted. This array can be modified, how- 
ever, so that its redundancies are removed and all com foina lions are 
represented. See figure 11 and figure 32. 

Even with the redundancies removed, however, the extreme left 
column is anomalous and complex. This anomaly can be removed. 


riqhlGt 







122 


SEFEft YFIZHUH 


03 

r 

DC 

pn 

V 

tn 

prt 

IT 

FJ 

rg 

=K 


S3 

D 1 

PD 

pn 

TT 

P 

TO 

m 

m 

IK 


03 

P* 

30 

m 

i* 

m 

m 

/« 

S3 

IK 

JO 

pb 

P3 

tF 

TO 

pn 

nr 

Fi 

m 

T3 

«• 

pa 

pS 

93 

T 


*n 

ft 

m 

TJ 

13 

IK 

w 

PD 

bS 

Y3 

P" 

~C 

m 

nr 

ns 

13 

IK 

pj 

no 

yb 

P3 

T 

re 

nn 

m 

n 

n 

Nl 

pe 

u 

ID 

P*> 

13 

tr 

no 

n 

IS 

ra 

SK 

DP 

» 

po 

ib 

F3 

jt 

ft 

n 

ns 

03 

*K 

BP 

TO 

i» 

TO 

fS 

J13 

TH 

m 

os 

*3 

3« 

*V 

PP 

u 

OS 

nS 

tl 

nrr 

bn 

n 

33 

be* 

SfB 

r*p 

np 

FJ 

ns 

m 

on 

TO 

PS 

S3 

W 

?* 


pp 

ru 

nr 

HI 

*n 

31 

S) 

S3 

X 

px 

TD 

FT 

np 

ot 

n 

M 

bn 

03 

S3 

PK 

■'nr 

P'5 

rv 

on 

n 

3 1 

bn 

d 

S3 

P3 

F* 

V 

FT 

r® 

*n 

3t 

Sn 

3T1 

jn 

m 

F3 

DK 

VP 

rnr 

■D 

3H 

St 


n 

trr 

pi 

53 

XH 

t n 

np 

3D 

b3 

DT 

SI 

on 

P 

51 

Y3 

PK 

m 

3* 

So 

03 

St 

PI 

Ft 

5*1 

yi 

pa 

■v 

rve 

V 

DC 

D 

W 

F 


TO 

pi 

13 

FK 

S3 

a* 

30 

03 

F 

51 

TO 

( TO 

m 

F3 

_ 


Fijfurr Abuhtfiti * array modified ttftd simplified< 


01 

19 

28 

37 

46 

02 

29 

38 

47 

56 

03 

12 

39 

48 

57 

04 

13 

49 

58 

67 

05 

14 

23 

59 

68 

06 

15 

24 

69 

78 

07 

16 

25 

34 

79 

08 

17 

26 

35 

89 

09 

IS 

27 

36 

45 


Figure U Mumerkvl tirtafogue of Abufqfitf n 4trru\ modified and stmph 
firtf 


and Ihe array is then further simplified See figures 33 and 34. 

The number 23! represents the total number of combinations 
of two letters. The number of combinations of three letters is 1540, 
Rabbi Abraham AtniLitia notes that this is equal to 22 times 70, The 
number 70 represents the 7Q primary languages. If each of these San- 







Chapter /Jw 


113 


Table 27, Combinations of letters. 


Letters 

Combinations 

Letters 

Combinations 

0 

l 

11 

705.432 

l 

22 

12 

646,646 

2 

231 

13 

479.420 

3 

1,540 

14 

319,770 

4 

7,315 

15 

170,544 

5 

26,334 

16 

74,613 

6 

74,613 

17 

26.334 

7 

170,544 

18 

7,315 

8 

319,770 

19 

1,540 

9 

479.420 

20 

231 

10 

646,646 

21 

22 



22 

l 


guages had an alphabet of 22 letters, there would be a total of 1540 
letters, 56 

In general the number of combinations of n letters is given by 
the formula: 


C - 22!/[n!(22-n)IJ. 

Values of the numbers from zero to 22 are provided in Table 27. 


There is nothing in good higher than Delight 

This is because the Bible refers to the most direct experience of 
God using the word "delight" It is thus written. "Then you 

will delight upon God" (Isaiah 58 iI4). 3? 



Figure 35. The waul negv is obtained from Otteg by notation. 









124 


SEFER YETZtKAH 


The word tor * plague." Nega is obtained from Oneg by 
simple rotation. The term Nega denoted especially a leprosy like 
plague, which was a sign of disapproval by God, See figure 35 on 
page 123, 

In an earlier section (1:13), we discussed how permutations such 
as these can result in opposites. 

A very similar permutation is presented by the Kabbn lists, The 
highest spiritual level to which one can aspire is the Sefirah of Ketcr 
{Crown), The further one climbs, however, the more ratified the 
atmosphere, and the greater the spiritual danger. By a simple permu¬ 
tation, the word Kcter (iro) becomes Karet (fro}, the Hebrew word 
for excision, where a person is completely cut off spiritually,’* 

One of the early lOih century mystics, Hai Gaon, noted that 
many people who embarked on the mysteries were successful, but 
then met with untimely death. 59 The higher the climb, the more dan¬ 
gerous the ftlL 

A person would not attempt to climb a dangerous mountain 
without the proper training and equipment. Any novice who would 
attempt a climb without an experienced guide would be courting dis¬ 
aster. Climbing spiritual heights can be equally dangerous. One needs 
the proper training and mental equipment, as well as an experienced 
spiritual guide. 


2 a C uy tfrai 0^3 DJI 'K pom fipu |B"iy "DP3 
,, O <P'Sri nrmm r i uy oSisi stq uy J 3 '« 

I'ain bsi -rsrn S3 kyemi u'uyv w*Va jivtyoji 

nUH DPO KJl' 

How? 

He permuted them, weighed them, and trans formed them, 

Alef with them ali 

and all of them with Alef 
Bet with them ali 

and all of them with Bet. 

They repeat in a cycle 
and exist in 2 A l Gates, 
h comes out that all that is formed 
and aft that is spoken 
emanates pom one Name . 


riqh 


in; 



Chciptt'f 


115 


One Name 

According lo the Kabbalists, this Name is the Tetragrammatori. 
YHVH (n\T). Each letter must be permuted with the Tetragramma- 
lon in an appropriate manner, 

The technique for doing this is outlined by Rabbi Eliczer 
Rokeaeh of Wormes, particularly in the context of creating a 
Golem, 40 This brings us to some of the most powerful meditative 
techniques of the Sefer Yetzini 

When one is working with a letter, he must combine that letter with 
the letters of the Tetragrammaion. using all five vowels. 

Thus* for example, if one were using the Alef, one would begin 
by combining it with the Yud of the Tetragrammaion. using all five 
vowels, See figure 36 on page 126. There is, however, some question 
as to how one is to go about this. From the words of Rabbi Eliezar 
Rokeaeh* it would appear that one simply makes use of all the vowels 
in sequence: 


AuYuAa YaAiYiAeYcAoYo *k 'k 'k *h 

» ■ ■ ■ v i its 

As discussed earlier* there is some question regarding the 
sequence of the five primary vowels (2:3), There are at least a half 
dozen different opinions. If the proper sequence is crucial, much dan* 
gerous experimentation would have to be done lo determine the 
proper sequence, It is possible, however, that the sequence is not 
overndingly important. 

In any event, following the system of Rabbi Eliezer Rokeach. the 
initiate must then proceed in this manner, completing all four letters 
of the Tetragrammaion. One can proceed in the same manner using 
any other letter of the alphabet. 

The initiate continues in this manner, pronouncing all the letters 
in the array of the 221 (or 231) Gates. 

Since Alef is the letter associated with the thorax, the entire Aief 
array would pertain to this part of the body. Next the initiate would 
proceed lo the head, for which he would use the Shin array, as 
explained below (3:9). He would form an array of the 221 Gates 
where every line begins with a Shin. He would then continue in this 
manner through all the pans of the body* using the letters that the 
Sefer Yetzirah associates with each part. 

For each letter, one must go through the entire sequence of 221 
(or 231) Gates. Each such sequence contains 442 letters* and there' 
fore, in completing all 22 letters of the alphabet, one will have made 
use of 4862 letters. Each of these letters will have been pronounced 
with the five primary vowels and the four letters of the Tetragramma' 



[26 


SKFFR YETZIRAH 


j Alef 

An Yu AaYa AiYi AeYe AoYo 

Ht '« *« ’X *M 

—■ * + t + ri 1 v v 

AuHu AaHa AiHi AeHe AoHo 

‘iW HK rtt* W 

AuVu AaYa AiVi AeVe AoVo 

itt ik to ik yt ; 

AuHu AaHa AiHi AeHe AoHo 

Hk n« ™ me ik j 

* ik * . t - * ^ v 

Ret 

BuYu BaYa BiYi Be Ye BoYo 

>3 >3 ;a *a 

BuHu BaHa BiHi BeHe BoHo 

m ns ru i; rr? 

BuVu BaVa BiVi BeVe BoVo 

ta is u 13 t3 

BuHu BaHa BiHi BeHe BoHo 

'7b r\2 na na ra 

' J »* NS 


Figure 36. The sequence for AUf and Bei. 


cub wbfi wb ft C’ Pri’ wpj pfflpn 
pipah c’jftb ft ffti Wib onw 
WSJ ipft EDtt nftl 3WJ lft 'J ft*? TP 1 
fft jftif “jpftp p p + :pp c'jvu j*non ppi 
pb rttw irs ft PPfift njh oi ftp DJCfi JTfi 
fipip ppft ft P l 1 , ft 1 ?? tVPftlJ "3 VbnB 
,. cb cift S3 tep ffttf dtb oipnj ebim 
Vnon 'spft obi: ppm crp C'na wi>p bn 
uft V? onrc ft-pi bp pure ftsbfts bftft 
TMJD STS* "3PF5 D*lftj «»& uft b ift 
ft mr>j hbr ?"nfti 3*ft nfatttj ftftsm 
3*ftp bon ft Do»fi cpo mft obfifti ft ft ft ft ft 

* ii ri ■ ■ * 

i*ft pi 'ft mfti *ft p u nfti *ft mjfti *ft mftt 

, i ■ * 

bon '3 pi O 7^ 3'pftl ftip P"ft pi 
: pipes pipD* bom is TWCfJ mfia 


Figure ii 7 /pjj^rtfrrtofis for making a Golem, from Rabhi Eliez&r 
Rokeach'x commentary on Sefer Yetiirah. 

ton, a total of twenty pronunciations for each letter. This means that 
the entire exercise makes use of 97,240 pronunciations. Assuming 
that one can pronounce four syllables a second, it would take approx* 
imately seven hours to complete this entire process. 

The method of creating a Golem is outlined by Rabbi EJiezer 
Rokeach in his commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, and presented in 







Cha pier Jim 


ill 


.fnrv 5 VnM^I F’lj’j 0’S PEP: pfVH lA JJ Wl 

fHMJ ftW Df tft '/trn 1*1 ■H’J JW<T3 W 

irH* 0 'VT'’pqiWjrjF^'»y J '"* 1 ^r "' 1 ***** ra-pil 
I**, fl¥i 7Wf t Er'n j nvaJ ^ J ji btk ^ 

rmp/'m's; “Ujf 

USrtn >i ^Trfnthrtfr ni^£n WPIB nA 
«!■■■» *- » m^nj iiS^j- yft® pu 'j «t eiS™vj> 
p r ftftPt ntfvl Sj> i* 

n»p(T* jAp *jiw k J'ftii * 3 hp <* 
■|ja ’pi? n’w prn Of f WH Wte f '* If ’“ pi¬ 
rn* ptCffit.-3 rn«*|u>1 >ift nn')¥’■& 0»S^ V 
JI rft Pv ■ # p uVJ W 5 I, - Bft21JI m ft' * ^ S'W 

t-iS i l rf JyJ 1 - «■» .wij) pjjr ** 5 * nmfi ^*1 ii" 
BB.1 flhftit lAl'US .-U-O 1 J;i f.nrpllj irtiJ^TY Pi 

« tmrvjvm e: jjVa-^fti nr-i-si es'-po* 'B'Js 
jpoo 1 * Jriri t-» bctt t« V^fKiliO/WBi 
*-iii jrtiB a> ’3am\‘r&h Jt? utthw^H 

™ ■JfH'klt -Wi* ATT'.l Tip rVflSffl ^3 D ■ *'>J 

'Y'53 1 ) -oe-j ■apjn.^j yv ji Sa b-tj m l M ^ =m 
&>*nt MUTilnJ'JTa** rft*j< m nr** nmu 

ji'pV 


I^STi M TPi# gfrl * JflTS^f D r 

ViJ'NSB S^uT.-rn'DS.'t'S rs 3?fi ^ i JH ,r Jn[ijJ 
■*i 0 ® ft'sgV rvjsifswf D-'.gf n; a - 7 i 

TnnSrOFnB 1 B3 2 REAOj’^Ti^ ‘’Jifti-pi"‘rfTiJp-jjj- 

Sj^m “ * ** * “ i-^'ifunfw^j 
p’l*' ^ IpM rrt* (EftW JHVWVjBf *\ Sift 
■Bi 1 - Tf , mj ' m pWi * p‘rn*i ■ | 2 -jui« h p rvarn^p 

d r>rrt*i wg n?iT*3 p’rwi ciNct Sr wn Br WfMB 

'S jh: iTO UBSI TV! ft a'r*l fLI 'Z' *** ^ 1,1 IWft » 
DU P-Sr -V-fl-’l J, T J -H« ■ E 3tTHf.'W2l 

rtr ■ pin a j 2 f^a □■■ pjjtb 

ijn nrnv-ii (*)■ ^s&iir yjri j H't 
'ffi'ftff.Sf ^-V 1 ! •W*i-tn T,IB r-jT OHiJTiJft 

p? jin* pi ei r«"vi TWfrm-p ia r?** ^'ir ffra ui 
CfE ■ ’*!&■] f»T+i 1 p*j.t^inn’Bft?»ri»' 3 i 
jiiMiiifa ft* n» ^*1 iE|' 3 j-o‘ 

■Tij'r 'its?W| i'S - SuVl Si’mp ¥jl FB f ¥ ■ lir *»l* 

Djon g-Htno JlPi '’jlJB 't'* 

"“kin «q TnorETTr ■’j?s p ppp JKT? ? 

EPtf*»np*lF¥S iftw *m-pjtf*' *'■•■ CTij's 

'ftfcl j3 B-K.T ff-3‘3 J'j-lJI fVlJ ICJ- TlfH Tfif 1 .' P? JTLJ1 


Figure 3# - Instructions for making a Gaiem from tmelt UaMolekh. 

somewhat greater detail by the author of Emi'k HaMeiekk (Depths of the 
King}/' 1 See figure 57 on page 126 and figure 38. An initiate should not 
do it alone, but should always be accompanied by one or two colleagues. 
The Golem must be made of virgin soil, taken from a place where no 
man has ever dug. The soil must be kneaded with pure spring water, 
taken directly from the ground. If this water is placed rn any kind of 
vessel, it can no longer be used. The people making the Golem must pur¬ 
ify themselves totally before engaging to this activity, both physically and 
spiritually. While making the Golem, they must wear dean white 
vestments. 

These authors also stress that one must not make any mistake or 
error in the pronunciation. They do not say what must be done if one 
errs, but from other sources, it would appear that at very least, one 
would have to begin the array from, the beginning. During this entire 
procedure, no interruption whatsoever may occur. 

These authors also intimate that they are only revealing the out¬ 
line of the method, and are not presenting it in its entirety . This also 
appears evident from other sources. 

There is also evidence that creating a Golem was primarily not 
a physical procedure, but rather, a highly advanced meditative tech¬ 
nique. 62 By chanting the appropriate letter arrays together with the 
letters of the Teiragmmmaton* the initiate could form a very real 
mental image of a human being, limb by limb. This possibly could 
be used as an astral body* through which one could ascend to the 
spiritual realms. 








SB PER YETZIRAH 


m 


The formation of such a spiritual body, however, would also 
result irs a tremendous spiritual potential. Once the conceptual 
Golem was completed, this spiritual potential could be transferred to 
a clay form and actually animate it. This was the process through 
which a physical Golem would be brought to life. 

In introducing this method, the Sefer Yetzirah said. "Engrave 
them like a garden, carve them tike a wall, deck them like a ceiling" 
(1:19 k There is some question as to what rak this meditation plays 
in the technique of making a Golem, According 10 some early 
sources, one must proceed in a circle around the creature that one is 
creating. This might refer to the mental structuring of this “garden," 
“wall." and "ceiling," before the Golem is formed. 


Pronunciation with the Yod p): 


AoYo AoYa ApYe AoYi AoYu 

>K 

AftYo AaYa AaYe AaYi AaYu 

ije 'K *K "It 

-v ¥ » »f ft -r 

AeYo AeYa AeYe AeYi AeYu 

't& VS ‘X ’K 

AiYo AiYa AiYe AiYi AiYu 

>K Vtf 'K 

AuYo AuYa AuYe AuYi AuYu 

'K *f* 

VH. “ H " H ■ V %, 

YoAo YoAa YoAe YoAi YoAu 

tr tp & te K* 

■%. ■ * t 

YaAo YaAa YaAc YaAi Ya.Au 

f=* X* i*> ft* K? 

■r'l' ■ ■ 1 T 1 1 

YeAo YeAa YeAe YeAi YeAu 

& r nr* re* 

YiAo YiAa YiAe YiAL YiAu 

W W X' & 

v ■ ■ ■ j i 

YuAo YuAa YuAe YuAi Yu.Au 

& k* k' 

VS -v ■ -fc H- 

Pronunciation with the Heh (nj: 


AoHo AoHa AoHe AoHi AoHi) 

ik m* riK .-Ik ik 

* ■ V 

AaHo AaHa AaHe AaHi AaHu 

-r« ik rtH n« An 

% * - - * i + 

Ac Ho AeHa AeHc AcHi AcHu 

~tk m* rm in aw 

AiHo AiHa AiHe AiHi AiHu 

tk in in nw in 

AuHo AuHa AuHe AuHi AuHu 

n« rw me rw nsf 

V A r H ■» % *\ % 

HoAo Ho-Aa HoAe HoAi Ho An 

in kh «'fi wi een 

FiaAo HaAa H&4e HaAi HaAu 

.in wn «n wi tti 

V ■ 1 ■■ V r W V 

HcAo HeAa HeAe HeAi HeAu 

nrt «ni to *n tri 

HiAo HiAa HiAe HiAi HiAu 

ten tin ten ten 

v ■* - A ^ 

HuAo HuAa HuAc HuAi HllAti 

rn ki wn ten hi 


v% ■%.»%! ■ \ V 


pyrighted material 


Figure 39. Ahulajici's system. 





Chapter /wo 


129 

Also important was the system taught by Rabbi Abraham 
Abulafla. which is apparently rooted in earlier techniques. See figure 
39 on pages 128-129. It is not certain, however, whether Abubfla is 
expanding upon the methods of Rabbi Bliczar Rokeaeh, or if he is 
drawing from an entirely different tradition. This technique is also 
quoted by a number of later K.abbalms fiJ 

In this system, the initiate pronounces the letters together with 
those of the Tetragrammaton. just as in the system of Rabbi Eltcz&r 
Rokeach, However, instead of merely using the five primary vowels 
alone, he must use every possible combination of these vowels, 
twenty-five in all. 


Pronunciation with the Vav (i); 


AoVo AoVa AoVe AoVi AoVu 
AaVo AaVa AaVe AaVi AaVu 
AeVo AeVa AeVe AeVi AeVu 
AiVo AiVa AiVe AiVi AiVu 
AuVo AuVa AuVe AuVi AuVu 


TM ** 94 IN IK 

V J t 

tK W V ’M ve 

% * ■ ! ■* 1 f f 

lit W 

lM Ik IK tK 

S ' ■ “' * r 

W Vi in iff 

^ • % * s s 


VoAo 

VaAa 

VeAo 

ViAo 

VuAo 


YoAa 

VaAa 

VeAa 

ViAa 

VuAa 


Vo Ac 
VaAe 
VeAe 
ViAe 
VuAe 


VoAi 

VaAi 

VeAi 

ViAi 

VuAi 


VoAu 

VaAu 

VeAu 

ViAu 

VuAa 


K1 M" Ml Ml Ml 

4 ■ ■ T 

Ml Ml Ml Ml Ml 

Vt ‘I *1 ft T 

Ml Ml Ml Ml M 1 

V.” * '■ ■’ T ■" ■= 

Ml PO Mi Ml tC 

% ■ ■ 1 ■ * ■ ■ 

act m pe? m >n 

4.V “ \ * V TV V 


Pronunciation with the final Hch (rr): 


AoHo AoHa AoHe AoHi AoHu 
AaHo AaHa AaHe AaHi AaHu 
AeHo AcHa AeHe AeHi AeHu 
AiHo AiHa AiHe AiHi AiHu 
AuBo AuHa AuHc AuHi AuHu 


rtw npc .im flu 

V * ■ T 

TIM rspt HM n*f rut 

\ T r 1 r , r , 1 

rrM rw hm tik hn 

~im rrM :jm nM t:m 

V . ■ ■ - J » ■ ■ 

HM nM 7!M riM 7!M 

\ »i « 


HoAo HoAa HoAe HoAi HoAu 
HaAo HaAa HaAe HaAi HsAu 
HeAo HeAa HeAe HeAi HeAu 
HiAo HiAa HiAc HiAi HiAu 
HuAo HttAa HuAe HuAi HuAu 


stn mP mu Mrs mi 

\ * f 

Mn mh wrs kh mh 

V * ■ ‘V ■ 9 W * I 

sr m sr prn «n 
NTl Mil Mn Ml MH 


mi pen Mri mtt Hn 

V V ■!»,«■% Til V 


Copy righted material 


Figure 39 . Ahutafit r r j system (continued). 





I JQ 


Sfc'FEK YETZJRAH 


Choiam 

Kametz 

Tzereh 

Chink 

Shurck 


Begin straight ahead and raise head upward. 
Begin at right and move head to left. 

Begin at left and move head to right. 

Begin straight ahead and lower head 
downward. 

Move head directly forward. 


Figure 40 , Head motions. 


IF this method were used with an entire array of 22 1 letter pairs, 
completing a single array would be a major task, taking over an hour 
and a half to complete. It would take over 3S hours to complete the 
entire sequence of 22 letters. It is questionable if this was ever actu¬ 
ally done in practice, but it is not impossible. Forming a Golem was 
considered to be the most advanced—and dangerous—of all medita¬ 
tive techniques. An initiate advanced enough to attempt it might also 
have the discipline necessary 1 for over thirty hours of continuous 
meditation. 

Besides this, Abulafia also prescribes specific breathing exercises 
to be used while chanting these Jeiters. Between each letter one is to 
take a single breath. Between pairs, one is to take no more than two 
breaths, between lines, no more than five, and between each letter of 
the Tetragrammaton. no more than twenty-five. 

Specific head motions are also prescribed for this exercise. These 
head motions arc to be made slowly and deliberately, while one pro¬ 
nounces the letter and exhales. See figure 40, These motions corre¬ 
spond to the shape of the vowel. While doing this exercise, one is 
seated, facing toward the cast. 

There is evidence that the names and shapes of the Hebrew 
vowel points were used for mystical puposex long before they were 
used in writing and grammar. The earliest non-mystical use of the 
vowels dates from the eighth or ninth century, while mystical uses 
are found in Kabbalislic sources that date as early as the first century. 
It is highly possible that the shapes of the written vowels were taken 
from the head motions associated with their sounds 

Abulafia uses his system of breathing exercises and head motions 
with the tetter Alef, since Akf (with a numerical value of I) expresses 
unity w'iih God, The same system can also be used with other letters. 
There is no evidence, however, that this method was ever used with 
an entire array of 22] letter pairs. To use it with even a single letter 
is a major effort. It is possible, however, that this method could be 
used with various letters to attain specific results with lhem, M 

Golem-making was merely the most advanced and spectacular 
use of the methods of Sefcr Yctzirah, Each letter individually, how- 


la hied malaria 




Chaptcr Two 


131 

ever, is also associated with a pan of the body. The array associated 
with the particular letter could be used as a meditation to affect that 
specific limb. This could be used to strengthen The spiritual energy 
of that limb, or even for curative puposes. 

The letters arc also associated with various times and astrological 
signs. Using the system of Sefer Yetzirah one can also construct med¬ 
itations associated with these. 



inr\ xm to nvjn trmo wna *w 

rm ppjij uw ttk a whui cmay 
urn Ss to npjn n*aoi nsiy j « op oSni dVu op 
o*ni 7 i ontpy nmS iu*di in k dip 1131 n S3 tot 

nro cryfln 


He formed substance out of chaos 

and made nonexistence into existence 
He caned great pillars from air 
that cannot he grasped, 

This is a sign 

tAfef with them all, and ad of them with Alefj 
He farsees transforms and makes 

att that is formed and ail that is spoken: 
one A ante. 

A sign for this thing: 

Twenty-two objects in a stngle body 


He formed substance out of chaos 

Earlier, the Sefer Yetzirah stated that chaos fro/tu) was “engraved 
and carved* from water (1:11). As we explained there, “Water*' 
alluded 10 Chakhmah and the basis of all physical creation. The 
“water” mentioned there denoted the most primitive spiritual root of 



132 


$£TER YETZtRAH 


water, as it crisis in the universe of Amhn, the realm of the Sefirot. 
It was out of this that the first stage of matter. '’Chaos" (lohu), was 
formed. The text here therefore states that it was out of this “chaos** 
that matter was formed. 

The word for “substance** here is Mam ash (rook This comes 
from the root Mashask Jetts), meaning “to touch,* 1 What is produced 
is a reality that can not only he seen, but which is physical enough 
to be touched. 


And made nonexistence into existence 

Chakhmah, however, is on the level of Nothingness. It is from 
this Nothingness, however, that all things were created. From this 
“nonexistence,' 1 ' Binah and Bert yah, which are called “existence" 
(Yesh)* were brought into being. 


He carved great pillars 

The reference here is obviously to the verse, “Wisdom has buih 
its house, it has carved its seven pillars" (Proverbs 9:1), This is fur¬ 
ther evidence that this section is speaking of Chakhmah 
{Wisdom). ss 

There is some discussion at to the meaning of the “seven pillars” 
in this verse. In one place, the Talmud says that they are the seven 
days of the week,* 6 Elsewhere, the Talmud states that they refer to 
the seven pillars upon which the world stands, an interpretation that 
is also mentioned in the Zohar.*’ Others identify them with the seven 
sciences; grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and 
astronomy.** 1 

The Kabba lists teach that these seven pillars represent the lower 
seven Sefirot.^ These correspond to the seven pillars of creation and 
the seven days of the week, so this does not contradict the Talmudic 
interpretation. 

In the system of the Sefer Yetzirah, it is obvious that these seven 
pillars represent the seven Doubles, They are called “pillars" because 
they are represented by vertical lines in the Tree of Life diagram. 

These seven Doubles are derived from the three Mothers. This 
would support an ancient version, which instead of “substance" 
f Mamas h—tsraa), read AMSh the three Mothers. 70 The text 

would then read, “He formed AMSh (vm) out of chaos .,, and 
carved great pillars,,. " 


'riqht 


r ial 



Chapter Two 


133 


From air that cannot he grasped 

These pillars arc caned (ram “air which cannot be grasped/ Air 
was earlier identified with Breath, which in turn is associated with the 
first Sefirah, Keter. Air is also identified with the letter AJef f2:l, 3:4), 

The Sefer Yeuirah states that water is below, fire above, and air 
is in the middle. This may initially be somewhat difficult to under- 
stand, since air is associated with Breath and Kcter. the highest 
Sefirah/ 1 It is also associated with AW, the first letter of the 
alphabet. 

As explained earlier (1:9), however, the Breath associated with 
Keter is not graspable. since this Sefirah represents a level above the 
intellect. The only place where this Brcath can become manifest is in 
the lower Scfrrm, Therefore, even though it is on a level above 
Chakhmah and Binah, it is only manifest on a level that is below 
them. 

The "air that cannot be grasped" is therefore the Breath coining 
from Keter This cannot be grasped until it enters the realm of the 
“pillars/ that is, the lower seven Scfirot, 

This section is actually best understood in a mystical sense. The 
previous section explained how to use the letter arrays together with 
the divine Name as a meditative device. One of the manifestations 
of higher meditative states (as well as some drug-induced stales) is 
haEIucioogenesis, where one can voluntarily form mental images. 
These mental images appear to be real and substantial. When a per¬ 
son is in a normal state of consciousness, he may be able to form 
mental images, but they are weak, transient, and blurred by mental 
static. In contrast, the images formed in a meditative state appear 
solid, substantial, and real. 

In an ordinary state of Binah consciousness, the mind is filled 
w ith static. If you w ish to sec this static, merely close your eyes. You 
will see a rapidly changing kaleidoscope of images* one imposed on 
another. Even if you can grasp a single image for a short while, it is 
intermingled with mental static, and you have little control over the 
image. You cannot make it come and go at with and you cannot 
determine how it behaves. Even when you can exert some influence 
over it, the image will seem to have a mind of its own. 

This static also exists even when our eyes are open, but it is over¬ 
shadowed by the images of the real world. In a darkened room, how¬ 
ever, it does remain visible to some degree. This static impairs our 
perception of the outside world, and clouds our menial processes. 

The perception of the spiritual w r orid is even more tenuous than 
(hat of the physical. In a normal state of consciousness, mental static 
makes it absolutely impossible to visualize the spiritual world. 


J 



»r 



J3 A 


SEfTft, VETTZIR AH 


Here this stale of mental static is called “chaos" {Tohu). As both 
the Kabbah sts and linguists teach, the word Tohu {m} comes from 
the verb Tahah (mnh meaning to be “astounded" or “confused."^ 
This is the normal state of mental confusion,, where the mind is 
clouded wiih sialic. This is also associated with Bin ah consciousness, 
and accordingly, a number of Kabbalists associate Tohu with Binah.”' 
The Zohar also teaches that Tohu is associated with the KUpah 
(Husk), the forces that prevent one from visualizing the spiritual 
realm. 14 

h is out of this Tohu. this state of confused Binah consciousness 
that one must create a palpable image. There are many images that 
can be produced, bm the most common is the mental Golem, the 
astral body. The initiate thus “forms palpable substance (mOffMJ*) 
out of chaos." This implies attaining a state of Chakhmah conscious¬ 
ness. The Kabbalists thus note that the word Golem (obj) has a 
numerical value of 73, the same as that of Chakhmah (mu). 75 

One must then “make nonexistence into existence.” Earlier, in stat¬ 
ing. “form substance out of chaos," the text uses the word “form." while 
here it uses the word “make ™ In Hebrew, especially according to the 
Kabbalists, the word “form" [mtznr) denotes the initial forming of 
"something from something.” The term "make™ (etta/r), on the other 
hand, refers to the completion of the process. Thus, in " forming substance 
out of chaos * one begins the menial act of creation. In * making nonexis¬ 
tence into existence," one completes it. 

The term “formation" also implies an activity taking place in 
Yetzirah, the lower spiritual universe. Thus, when one '"forms sub¬ 
stance out of chaos," one is bringing about a purely spiritual result 
in the universe of Yetzirah. “Making," on the other hand, refers to 
the universe of Asiyah, which borders on the physical. This implies 
results that may actually be manifest in the physical world. 

In order to accomplish this, one must enter fully into the realm 
of Nothingness. This is the highest level of Chakhmah consciousness, 
bordering od Keler. One therefore begins with “nonexistence," which 
is Nothingness. 

When one reaches this level, he can actually make something 
“that actually is” (yedutp) or “existence.” He can actually bring about 
results in the universe of Asiyah, which can then be reflected in the 
physical world. In making a Golem, this would correspond to the 
state of consciousness required before the mental image could be 
imposed on the day, bringing it to life, 

A very similar process is described by the great Hassidie master. 
Rabbi Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezritch (1704-1772). He writes that 
when a person contemplates a physical object completely and totally, 
he can actually bring that object onto his thought. If his thought is 


riohl 




Chapter Twu 


(35 

then bound lo the supernal Mind, he can elevate that object to the 
level of Mind, From there, it cart be further elevated to the level of 
Nothingness, where the object ceases to exist. When this object is 
then once again brought back to the level of Mind, it can be brought 
back in any form that the initiate desires. Thus, when he finally 
brings it back to its normal physical state, the object can be changed 
in any manner he desires. As the Maggid slates, “he can even trans¬ 
form it into gold," 7 * 

It is in this state of consciousness that one can visualize the 
Seflrot as “great pillars." One “carves" theirs out, this meaning that 
the image of the Seftrah is seen separately, totally filling the con¬ 
sciousness. Even though the Sefirot are totally ineffable and inde¬ 
scribable. when a person is in this state of consciousness, he can 
“carve" them out. They are then perceived as solid pillars, made of 
transparent air. Like the air. the Sefirot are still invisible, but in this 
state of consciousness, even the air can become visible. 

This is a sign ... 

The Sefer Yetzirah describes a sign through which one knows 
that he has attained this state. Be must go through the entire array, 
“Alef with them all. and alt of them with Alef." This means that he 
permutes the array forward and backward, which respectively are the 
modes of creating and destroying. 

The initate then “forsees. transforms and makes," The word for 
“foresee" here is r zofeh, and as discussed earlier (3:6k this word 
denotes mystical insight and foresight. If the initiate has attained the 
proper state, he attains a mystical insight through which he can per¬ 
ceive the inner essence of all things. He can then engage in the proc¬ 
ess described earlier, where the Sefer Yetzirah said, “discern with 
them, and probe from them" (1:4). 

When the initiate reaches this high level, he can also 
“transform,” actually changing physical things. He can even “make." 
bringing things lo existence in the physical world. 

Most important is the final realization: “All that is formed and 
all that is spoken is one Name," The initiate not only knows this 
intellectually, but he can actually visualize and sec that all creation 
is nothing more than one Name, the Tetragrammaton. 

A sign for this thing, 22 objects ... 

This goes back and refers to the entire chapter. “Twenty-two 
objects in a single body," is a sign that the initiate has completed this 
discipline and has mastered it fully. 



136 


5EFER VETZIRAH 


He uses each of ihe 22 letters to form a mental image of a differ¬ 
ent part of the body. Each pari of the body can thus be formed sepa¬ 
rately. The ability to complete separate pans, however, does not 
prove mastery of the method of Sefer Yetzirah. The final proof of 
mastery is ihe ability to assemble all these 22 objects into a single 
body, rt 

This is the process of completing a mental Golem. The initiate 
must not only form all the pans, but he must actually assemble them. 
This means that while he is engaged in the meditation to create one 
pan, he must not lose his mental image of the parts that he formed 
earlier, As each part of the image is formed, it must be retained in 
the mind, with subsequent images added to it, part by part. The 
amount of mental discipline, as well as the advanced nature of the 
meditative technique required for this, is virtually beyond 
description. 

The creation of a mental Golem is therefore a culmination of the 
arts of Sefer Yetzirah. as well as a lest to determine if one has mas¬ 
tered them. This did not involve the actual creation of a physical 
Golem, since this was only done on very special occasions. As the 
Kabbalists warn, such an undertaking should not be attempted with¬ 
out permission from on high. 7 * 



CHAPTER THREE 


Copyrighted material 



Copyrighted material 



Chapter Three 





nuT pro* mo« ttbtr 

TPWa pn pt?bi ruin 


Three Mothers: Atef Mem Shin (x?cm) 

Their foundation is 
a pan of merit 
a pan of liability 

and the tongue of decree deciding between them „ 


This repeals pan of a previous section (2:1), and it has already been 
discussed. Chapters one and two spoke of the basic meditative meth¬ 
ods involving the Scfiroi and letters, Now the leu era are treated 
separately. 

Thus, in the beginning of chapter two. the three Mothers were 
introduced. The main idea there, however, was to teach that "Mem 
hums and Shin hisses.one of the first meditative practices using the 
letters. 

Here, the same concept is repeated, but as introduction to the 
idea of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. It is simitar to an ancient tra¬ 
dition of homiletic interpretation: “Two scriptures that contradict 
one another, until a third scripture comes and decides between 
them,”’ In both eases, the same expression, "decides between them.” 
(Makhria Beynehem), is used It is significant to note that the homi¬ 
letic rule is expressed by Rabbi Ishmael a leader of an important first 
century mystical school, who apparently received it from Rabbi 
Nchunlah hen HaKanaT 

The simplest interpretation is that Mem is thesis. Shin is antithesis, 
and Alef as synthesis. These three dements then form the three vertical 
columns into which the Sdlrot arc divided. Mem represents the right 
hand column (headed by ChaJchtrah), Shin, the left hand column (headed 
by Binah), and Akf, the centra] column (headed by Keier). 1 

There is. however, another interpretation, and this follows the 
arrangement of the letters on the Tree of Life according to the Ari, J 
Here. Allef T Mem and Shin are the horizontal lines, connecting oppos¬ 
ing Sefirof Shin is between Chakhmah and Rinah. Alcf between 
Chesed and Gevurah, and Mem between Neuach and Hod. 



rich 




140 


SEFER VETS RAH 


Following this, the text is saying that the “foundation'* of all 
three of these Mother letters is the synthesis that connects thesis and 
antithesis. Thesis is the Sefirah to the right, antithesis is the one to 
the left, and synthesis is the Mother letter connecting the two. 



rrrosi wbsto Srrs to irm jiiok vhx? 
d*d < ri« one wy'i niyaca mnm 
:m*tVin jtoksi jtqn nSij onot 


Tfciw Afaiflm/ ^/p/ Afem Shin (vtx) 

A great, mystical secret 

covered and sealed with six rings 
And from them emanated ate : water and fire 
And from them are horn Fathers* 

and from the Fathers, descendents. 


A great mystical secret 

The word for “mystical" here is MuPhla (wbara]). 1 This is very 
closely related, and shares the same root with the word Peliyah 
(moh*). used in relation to the Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom (1:1 ), One 
reason for this* as discussed earlier (2:1). is because it is through these 
Mother letters that one can enter into the realm of Chakhmah con¬ 
sciousness, which is the portal to the transcendental. 

These three Mother letters are also related to the my stery' of the 
divine Name. The Sefcr Yetzirth earlier said, "He chose three let¬ 
ters... in the mystery of the three Mothers. AMSh (nw)" (1:13). 
Thus, the letters AMSh (vow) are the roots of the letters of the Tetra- 
erammaton, YHV (tct*}. According to the Kabbabsts, Yud is derived 
from Mem, Heft from Shin, and Vav from Alef.* These three Mothers 
therefore represent an even deeper mystery than the Tctrag.- 
rammaton. 

The Tet rag rammaton actually only relates to the Ten Seftrot. 
There is, however* an aspect of creation that existed before the 
Sefirot. In this stage, the proto-Sefirot existed as simple non- 
interacting points. In the language of the Kabbaiists, this is fcnotvn as 
the Universe of Chaos (Toton). In this state, the Vessels, which were 



Chapler Three 


(41 


the protO-Seftrol, could neither interact nor give to one another. 
Since they could not emulate God by giving, they were incomplete, 
and could therefore not hold The Divine Light, Since they could not 
Fulfil] their purpose, they were overwhelmed by the Light and 
"shattered." This is know n as the "Breaking of Vessels.** 

The broken shards of these Vessels fell to a tower spiritual level 
and subsequently became the source of all evil. It is for this reason 
that Chaos {7b hu) is said to be the root of evil. 

After having been shattered, the Vessels were once again recti¬ 
fied and rebuilt into Person ificati on $ (Partmftm). Each of these 
Partzufim consists of 613 parts, paralleling the 613 parts of the body, 
as well as the 613 commandments of the Torah, These Pfcrtzufim 
were then able to interact with each other. More important, through 
the Torah, they were also able to interact w ith man. This is the stage 
where the Sefirot become givers as well as receivers. 

In this rectified state the Vessels (or Sefirot) became fit to receive 
God’s Light. In Kabbalistic terminology, this state is called the Uni¬ 
verse of Rectification (Tikkun), 

The Kabbalists teach that the letters of the Tetragrammaton, 
YHV few), Oiiiy pertain to the Universe of Rectification. In the Uni¬ 
verse of Chaos (Jafcu), the divine Name consisted of the letters AMSh 

(ffOi ), 7 

When a person enters into the mysteries, he must parallel the 
sequence of creation." First he enters the Universe of Chaos (Tb/rwJ. 
Here his mind is filled w ith confused transient images. If he perceives 
the Sefiroi. they are "like lightning, running and returning" (1:6). The 
Sefirot are perceived as disconnected images. w r here no relationship 
between them can be seen. This is the state of consciousness attained 
through the letters AMSh (efqk), as discussed earlier (2:1), 

The initiate can then enter the Universe of Rectification, where 
the Sefirot are connected and assume the form of Partzufim. Each 
Partzuf is a human-like form, very closely related to the conceptual 
Golem. The creation of this mental Golem-Partzuf is accomplished 
through the letters of the name YHYH together with various letters, 
as described above (2:5). This is the Name associated with the Uni¬ 
verse of Rectification. 

Here, one must combine all the Sefirot to form "a single body” 
(2:6). One also becomes aware of the lines connecting the Sefirot. 
which are included in the Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom. Hence, when 
these Thirty-two Paths arc discussed, the Sefer Yetzirah uses the 
names YH YHYH, 

The three Mother letters, AMSh also spell out the Hebrew word 
Emesh (rott), meaning “Yesternight/' This occurs in the verse, ^You 
slept last night iemesh) with my father’ 1 (Genesis 19:34), The word 



irial 



14 1 


5EJ-EK V ETZ1RAH 


emesh also denotes deep impenetrable gloom, as in the verse. “Gloom 
(emesh), waste and desolation” (Job 30:3).^ This is the inky gloom 
that existed before treat ion. in the Universe of Chaos, the 
“yesternight'' before the Seftrot were brought into being. 

There is also evidence that the word emesh was also used as a 
mystical name of God. Thus, Laban said to Jacob, “The God of your 
fathers last night (Emesh) said to me” (Genesis 31:29}. This can just 
as easily be read, “The God of your fathers, Emesh, said to me." Sim¬ 
ilarly, Jacob said. “And Emesh gave judgment* 1 (Genesis 31:43), 10 
According to some authorities, the letters Aief Mem Shin (row) 
also conceal a deeper mystery, which is Aief Vav Yud 

Another element of the mystery of the letters AMSh is the fact 
that they represent the reconciliation of opposites. Logically, there is 
no way in which opposites can be reconciled. These letters therefore 
represent a mystery that cannot be penetrated by logic. 

One commentator states that the letters AMSh contain the mys¬ 
tery through which one can walk on fire. 12 The reason for this may 
be because these letters have the power to reconcile opposites. It is 
possible that Rav Zeira made use of this technique to prevent his feet 
from being burned in fire, as related in the Talmud. 1J 


Sealed with six rings 

The obvious scriptural source is the verse, “The sciipi which is 
written in the King's name and seated wilh the King’s ring, cannot 
be reversed" (Esther 8:8). 

According to Ibis, the “rings” here would be the rings of the 
King's name, that is. the letters YHV (irr). The Kabbalists therefore 
say that these six rings are [he six directions, which* as the Sefer 
Yetzirah (1:13) earlier says, were “scaled" with the letters YHV 
Behind the permutations of the letters YHV is the deeper mystery of 
the permutations of the letters AMSh, now under discussion. 

These six directions, which comprise the physical universe, are 
what hide the deeper mysteries. It h thus written, "He has set the 
universe in their heart, so that man cannot End out the work that 
God has done, from the beginning to the end" (Ecclesiastes 3:10). As 
the commentaries point out* the word “universe" here in Hebrew is 
Ohm (nfyyL It comes from the root Alam (obp). meaning “occlusion." 
and also has this connotation* As tong as a person can only think in 
terms of the physical dimensions of space, the inner reality is con¬ 
cealed from him. 

Also significant is the fact that a ring is normally worn on the 
finger. As the Sefcr Yetzirah slates (1:3), the Ten Sefirot are repre- 





Chapter Three 


143 


sented by the ten fingers. The six rinp are thus worn on the six 
“fingers" corresponding to the six Sefirot, which represent the six 
directions. 33 

The “six rings** here also allude to the “six rinp of the throat." 
mentioned m the ZoharJ* It is from these rings that ah sound and 
speech are derived. These six rinp, which are the source of physical 
speech, conceal the mystery of AMSh, which relates to the root of 
speech. This mystery can only be penetrated when one transcends the 
realm of physical speech. 


From them emanated air. water and fire 

This is the process described in detail in chapter one (1:9-12). 


From them are born Fathers 

The three Mother letters, AMSh (van), represent cause, effect 
and their synthesis. Shin (p) is cause. Mem (&) is effect, and Alef {«) 
is the synthesis between these two opposites, in the Tree of Life dia¬ 
gram. these are represented by three horizontal lines. 

These three horizontal lines give rise to the three vertical col¬ 
umns in the Tree of Life diagram, headed by Keter, Chakhmah, and 
Rmah. These are represented by “air, water, and fire." 

We therefore begin with a dialectic triad: “Creator," “object of 
creation " and “act of creation.” This gives rise to a second triad: 
love, judgment, and mercy. This second triad defines the three col¬ 
umns into which the Sefirot are arranged. 13. 

The three horizontal lines are the three Mothers. The three col¬ 
umns define the three Fathers, which are the letters Yud Heh Vav 
(rr) T It was from these letters that space is defined, as the Sefer 
Yetzirah states earlier (1:13). Once space is defined, then creation can 
take place. 

This can also be understood in a meditative sense. Through the 
pronunciation of the letters AMSh, one enters the realm of 
Chakhmah consciousness, and passes through the Chashmal, One 
then passes through the domains of Breath, water and fire, as 
described earlier (1:14). At this lime, one must be in a totally recep¬ 
tive mode, which is an aspect of the feminine. Hence, the tellers 
AMSh are called “Mothers,” 

After this, however* one can enter into a creative mode through 
the letters YHY, These letters are therefore called “Fathers.” Only 
then can one produce “descendcms." 



144 


SEFtiR YETZIJUH 



fypv ?*ns pyn (ppn v"m moif pSp 
□Sijn tp*on mow trSp onn in poni 

tf'DK niD« hjpd *rm jitok T?Sn 
rmpn “IDT 


Three Alo/Am: zf/e/ Jl/em 5 Vh>i feroetJ 
He them. He carved them , 

/fif ^mnyfed fftm He Mem. 

He frans/bmW /Aewi. 

/Iir^ with them He depicted 

Three Mothers AMSh (watt) in the Universe, 
Three Mothers AMSh /uowj in the Year, 
Three Mathers AMSh (warn) in the Soul 
male and female- 


He engraved them... 

The beginning of this section is exactly the same as 2:2, except that 
all the letters were being discussed there, and here only the three Mother 
letters arc under consideration, Jn both cases, there are five processes: 
engraving, caning, permuting, weighing, and transforming. 

When, as in chapter two* all 22 letters are given equal status, 
then ail five dimensions as the five phonetic families (2:3), Here, on 
the other hand, the three Mothers are taken separately. The five 
dimensions are therefore also divided into three domains: Universe, 
Year, and Soul, The Universe consists of the three special dimen¬ 
sions, Year consists of the time dimension, while Soul consists of the 
spiritual dimension, 

A similar division into three domains was encountered earlier, 
in chapter one, when the Sefirot were first enumerated. First enumer¬ 
ated w f as the domain of Soul, the spiritual dimension, which com 
sisied of “Breath, 4 * and ^Breath from Breath“ (1:9,10). Then came the 
domain of Year, the time dimension, consisting of Water and Fire 
(1:11-12), Finally came the domain of Universe, the three spatial 
dimensions, represented bv the six permutations of the letters YHV 
U:I3K 

The Sefcr Yetzirah stated earlier (1:13) that the three letters 
YHV t which define the space continuum, arc derived from AMSh. 



Chapter Three 


MS 


Therefore, it is the letters AMSh which separate the space continuum 
from that of time and the spiritual. 

There is an important difference between the space continuum 
and the other two. It is only in space that one can move voluntarily. 
In time, one moves in one direction at a predetermined rate. In the 
spiritual dimension, a physical body cannot move at all Only the 
soul can move through the spiritual dimension* and it is for this rea¬ 
son that this domain is called Soul 

The letters AMSh differentiate space from time and soul. These 
same letters can therefore be used to do away with Lhis diffe¬ 
rentiation. 



OW VH O'D "m oSiyi ETON JTlQK whw 
nno TW o»aa hktoj f tki van wiaj 

:DW3 ynDO 


Three Mothers, AMSh (wan}, 

in the Universe are air, water, fire. 
Heaven was created from fire 
Earth was created from water 
And air from Breath decides between them . 


In chapter one. the text discussed the spiritual aspect of “Breath* 
water and fire." in terms of the original four Scfirot, Here it is speak¬ 
ing of how these three are also manifest in the physical world. 

In the simplest physical terms, “water'' repesents matter, “fire” 
is energy, and “air" is the space that allows the two to interact, 11 

On a somewhat deeper physical level, fire, water and air repre¬ 
sent the three basic physical forces. “Fire” is the electromagnetic 
force, through which all mailer interacts. The atomic nucleus, how¬ 
ever, consists of like positive charges, which would repel each other 
if only electromagnetism existed. There must therefore exist another 
force which can bind the nucleus together. This is the “strong 
nuclear" or pionic force, which binds the nucleus together, repre- 



SEFER YETZ1RAH 


J 46 



Figure 4 L From Maasch Toviah fCmiYJu\ JVOK) p. 45 a. 


senled by "water. 1 " If this nuclear force were to interact with all parti¬ 
cles, however ail matter would be mutually attracted together, form¬ 
ing a solid lump denser than a neutron star. On the other hand, even 
within each elementary particle, there is a need for a cohesive force 
to counteract the electromagnetic repulsion within the particle itself. 
This force can be neither electromagnetic nor pionic. This is the 
"air,* which represents the "weak nuclear” force, which “decides 
between* the other two. It is this force that allows light particles (lep¬ 
tons} such as electrons to exist, Sec figure 4L 

The fourth force, gravity, corresponds to "earth," Earth, however 
is not a basic element, but a confluence of the other three, 1 * It is 
therefore represented by the final Heh in the Tetragrammalon. which 
is actually a repetition of the first Heh in this name. 

On an even more elementary level, these three elements repre¬ 
sent the three axes in the unitary symmetry, SU(3). ivhich is the most 
basic property of matter. 

These three elements also relate to the experiential. Here, fire 
represents the radiation of energy* while water represents the absorp¬ 
tion of energy. These are thesis and antithesis, giving and receiving, 
which themselves are manifestations of cause and effect. Air, which 
represents the transmission of energy is then the synthesis, linking 
the two. 


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alerial 



Chapter Three 


147 


In this aspect, fire and water a iso represent the psychological 
modes of Binah and Chakhmah consciousness. As discussed earlier, 
“fire" is Rinah consciousness, where the mind itself is constantly 
radiating energy. “Water," on the other hand, is Chakhmah con¬ 
sciousness, where the mind can absorb spiritual energy from without. 
“Air" is then Rrnch HaKodesk, the medium through which such spir¬ 
itual energy is transmitted. 


Heaven is created from fire 

This is the same as the statement made above (1:12). Our experi¬ 
ence and depicting of the transcendental sphere must be brought into 
Binah consciousness. 

In a physical sense, fire represents radiative energy. This usually 
takes place by means of the electromagnetic interaction in the form 
of tight. “Heaven” here represents the concept of space as defined by 
the electromagnetic interaction, this being an important cornerstone 
of the principle of Relativity, 

Fire represents Binah, and as discussed earlier (1:1), ihe word 
Rinah comes from the root Beyn t meaning “between,“ It is from 
Binah that the concept of separation comes into being. Furthermore, 
el is only as a result of the concept of separation that space can exist. 
If not for Binah, all existence would be concentrated in a single 
point. 

In ihe same manner, “earth is created from water.” “Earth" rep¬ 
resents the solid state, where matter exists with a minimum of space 
separating its molecules. This stems from Chakhmah, which tends to 
minimize separation and distance. 

In a gas such as air T the molecules tend to fly apart and separate. 
Yet, at the same time, they are held together just sufficiently to give 
the gas substance. Gas is therefore always in a state of contained 
expansion. This is intermediate between the containment of solid 
matter and the total expansion of pure radiation. 

Fire is represented by the letter Shin. Shin is the dominant letter 
in the word Esh (FrO, meaning fire. It is joined with the Alef, repre¬ 
senting air, because a fire cannot exist without air. 20 

The three heads of the Shin also suggest the fiames of the fire. 
The hissing sound of this letter furthermore is like the hiss of a 
flame. 

The three heads of the Shirt are separated, suggesting the general 
concept of separation. Corresponding to the Shin is the letter Heh 
(i). which is only one of the two letters in ihe alphabet consisting of 
two disconnected parts. 


iqhled material 



SEFER YETZ1RAH 


m 


Water is represented by the [etter Mem. Here aga in Mem is the 
dominant Idler in the word Xfayim meaning water. Indeed, the 
very name of the letter Mem comes from the word Mayim. 11 

Mem is also a dosed letter* indicating containment and unity.* 1 
It is also sounded with the mouth dosed. It parallels the letter Yud 
{*)„ which is written as a single point. 

Air is represented by Alef. since it is the initial letter of Anr 
meaning “air." AJef is a silent letter, whose sound is as undetectable 
as the invisible air. In shape, it consists of an upper right and a lower 
left dot. representing two opposites, with a diagonal line in the mid¬ 
dle, which both separates and connects the (wo. 



pin .rmi ntp pin iwa etok mow vhw 

mna mm q*qo *roa yp *rou 

ternro P»"DO 


Three Mothers AMSh (van) 
in the Year are 
the hot 
the cold 

and the temperate . 

The hot is created from fire 
The cold is created from water 
And the temperate, from Breath, 
decides between them. 


The year is divided into three basic pans. There is the hot summer 
and the cold winter, which are thesis and antithesis. The two temper¬ 
ate seasons, spring and autumn, are both taken together and are spo¬ 
ken of as the temperate season. This is the synthesis. 

Here we see the concept of a cycle between opposites. This cycle, 
like many others, constantly swings between two opposites. At the 
midpoint in each swing, no matter in which direction,, the cycle must 
pass through the intermediate midpoint. 

Thus, both in going from hot to cold, and from cold to hot* the 
cycle must pass through a temperate season. It is out of cycles such 
as these that time is defined. The Scfer Yetzirah therefore states that 
the Cycle is the king in fhe domain of time (6:3). 


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Chapter Thrte 


149 


In the annual cycle, winter is represented by Mem (a), summer 
by Shin (p), and the two temperate seasons by Akf («). The complete 
cycle is then defined by the letters MAShA («e?fta). Taking their paral¬ 
lels. these correspond to the letters YVHV (nr). This is closely 
related, but somewhat different than the Tetragrammaton. YHVH 
(nrcrjL 

In the Tetragrammaion, the ordering of the letters is YHV 
Here thesis and synthesis are seen as opposites, representing tension 
and equilibrium. Antithesis is then the midpoint connecting the two. 
The fourth letter of the Tetragrammaion, the Heh, is also a point of 
tension. 


The temperate 

The Hebrew word for "temperate/ 1 here, is Ravayah (th). 
This use of the word Ravayah is virtually unique in Hebrew 
literature. 

The usual interpretation of Ravayah is abundance, as in the 
verse, w my cup is abundant {ravayak)T (Psalms 23:5). It should be 
recalled that it is from this verse that some Kabball sis find an allu¬ 
sion to the 221 Gates, discussed earlier (2:4). 

One reason for the use of Ravayah to denote the spring and 
fall was because these two were the harvest seasons in the Holy 
Land. 

The most obvious source for this usage is the verse, "Wc have 
come through fire and water. You brought us out to Ravayah* 
(Psalms 66:12). Some commentaries interpret /?avo>ia6 here to also 
mean "abundance.* but from the content, “temperate*' seems to be a 
more logical interpretation. Ravayah would then denote the desired 
meaning between "‘fire" and "water," The Sefer Yetzirah also uses 
this word in such a sense, 

h is significant to note that the Talmud interprets "fire and 
water" in this verse to denote psychological states/* The Midrash 
likewise interprets "fire and water" in this verse as referring to two 
opposing kinds of purgatory/* 

Fire is the overabundance of sensation, and it is also related to 
shame/* Water, on the other hand, denotes lack of sensation, and is 
related to depression, Ravayah is then the perfect mental state 
between these two extremes. 

Some authorities also say that the word Ravayah is related to the 
word Yoreh (rm»), which denotes the early autumn rains. 2 * 


opyriqhted material 



SEFFft YFTZIRAH 


[iO 



fMl nnp31 *DT 6?0JD tP'Qtt HtOK W^V 
rmn croo kt 33 pa* «"oj tf*n ,mn 
tows jmoo nraa 


TVcc jt/orterc I AfS/r fi?QK/ 

m r/ie Son/, mofr and female, 
are the head, belly, and chest. 
The head is created from fire. 

The belly is created from H ater 
and the chest, from breath, 
decides between them. 


The ““soul" here also refers to the body. One reason for this is because 
the soul is an exact counterpart of the body. Everything found in the 
body is also found in the soul. 

Similarly* the human body is a microcosm of the supernal 
"‘Mam* See figure 42 on page 151, This is the “‘Man" sitting on the 
throne, seen by Ezekiel The supernal “Man" represents the array of 
the Sefirot. The *Soul" mentioned here then also refers to the anthro¬ 
pomorphic representation of this array. 

With respect to the Sefirot* Shin is the line between Chakhmah 
and Btnah; ASef. between Chesed and Gevurah; and Mem, between 
Netzach and Hod. The top line represents the head, the center line* 
the chest, and the lower line, the belly. 27 

According to Rabbi Abraham Abu tall a. there is also an allusion 
here to the two covenants mentioned above (1:3). The covenant of 
the tongue is in the head, while the covenant of circumcision is in 
the region of the belly, Between the two, in the chest, is the heart* 
which is king over the soul (6:3). This alludes to the Torah, which is 
the primary covenant. 2 * 

The head also represents man's creative power, which is repre¬ 
sented by fire. The belly is man's receptive power, represented by 
water. The chest and lungs must both inhale and exhale, and there¬ 
fore pertain to both. 

In a deeper sense, the head is seen as the center of Binah con¬ 
sciousness. It is the head that is the seat of the conscious stream of 
thought The workings of the belly, on the other band, are almost 
completely subconscious. The belly therefore parallels the Mem, 
which denotes Chakhmah consciousness. It is for this reason that 
some mystics would contemplate their belly when attempting to 
attain Chakhmah consciousness. 



Chapter Three 


351 




Figure 42. The supernal "Man/' 






152 


SEFER VETZIRAH 


Breathing borders on both the conscious and the unconscious. 
One usually breathes unconsciously, but one can also control one's 
breathing consciously. Breathing is therefore associated frith both 
Bin&h and Chakhmab consciousness, ll is for this reason that con¬ 
trolled breathing techniques are important in making the transition 
between these two states. Breathing is centered in the chest. 


The chest 

The Hebrew word for "chest" here is Gariy&h (rra)/* The use of 
Gaviyah for chest is also unique in Hebrew literature. Usually, the 
word refers to the body as a whole, and some commentaries here also 
state that it denotes the entire trunk,* 0 

A possible scriptural source for this may come from Ezekiel’s 
vision, where he said of the Chayot, "With two [wings| they covered 
their Gaviyah" (Ezekiel 1:11). The scripture may be saying that they 
covered their chest and heart with two of their wings. 3 > 

Some commentaries interpret Gaviyah to denote the sexual 
organ. 32 In the language of the Mishnah, we indeed find that the 
“head of the Gaviyah" refers to the lip of the male organ. 13 How¬ 
ever. as the major commentaries note, only the term, ''head of the 
Gaviyah" has this connotation, and not the word Gaviyah 
itself, 34 



itq b ippi nro rm Ym 
aaw rrm nbijn tim orn isn na rrt jp-tsi 
:o"w«3 nnpj’i trotto not w*sn tui 


He made the tetter Aief fvtj king over Breath 
And He hound a crown to it 
And He combined them one with another 
And with them He formed 
Air in the Universe 
The temperate in the Year 
And the chest in the Soul : 

The male with AMSh fan k/ 

And the female with ASh\I (nvt<y 


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Chapier Three 


153 


He made Alef king 

Most simply, this means that with regard to concepts related to 
Breath, Alef is always the first letter in the permutation,” 

In a deeper sense, this means that Alef was bound to the Sefirah 
of Maikhut (Kingship), Malkhut is said to be the “month/' and as 
such, it is the Sefirah through which the power of all the other Sefirot 
is expressed. 1 * 

The first stage is therefore to make the tetter "king." This means that 
it is brought to the "mouth," which is the SeRrah of Malkhut/ 7 

Bound a crown to it 

This indicates that the letters are bound to the highest of the 
Sefirot* Ketfir. As the Scfer Yetzirah states earlier (1:9), this is the 
direct Breath. Malkhut, on the other hand, is reflected Breath, Before 
a letter can be expressed through Malkhut* it must be bound to Keter. 
Thus, the "End is imbedded in the beginning” (1:7), 

This also speaks of the physical tetters, which have small “crowns' 1 
called Taggin on top. The Talmud thus says that when Moses ascended 
to heaven, he saw God "binding crowns to the tetters," 34 

These crowns represent the higher spiritual nature of the let¬ 
ters. w If the letters themselves are in Assiyah, then the crowns on top 
bind them to Yetzirah. 40 

Air, temperate, chest 

In Hebrew, air is Avir (tw) t temperate is Ravayah (rm). and 
chest is Geviyah (mi). Except for the Resh in Avrr* all of these words 
are spelled the same: 

AVYR tin 
RVYH m-r 
GVYH mi 

The endings of these words is constantly VYH (m). This repre¬ 
sents the hidden power of the tetters Yud Heh Vav (rt>) in the three 
Mothers AMSh. 

It is significant to note that in these words, the order of the tet¬ 
ters is VYH (m). Since Vav (i) corresponds to Alef (ft), Yud (0 corre¬ 
sponds to Mem (b), and Heh (n) corresponds to Shin (p) t the letters 
VYH (m) are in the same order as AMSh (mat). 

The word Avir is written with a Resh fi) instead of a Heh (n). 
This is because A VYH (ms) spells out a secret divine Name/ 1 





154 


SEFER YET21RAH 


The initial tellers of Avtr, Ravayah and Geviyah spell out A rag 
(mt), which means “to weave" II is out of these three syntheses that 
the fabric of creation is woven. 

Male and female 

Rabbi Ehezar Rokeaeh of Wormes writes that if one wishes to 
create a male Golem, then the sequence AMSh must be used. 
If one wishes to create a female Golem, then the sequence must be 
AShM (era), if one wishes to destroy the Golem, then the sequence 
is ShMA 

The Hebrew word for man is Ish (tf'Kh while that for woman is 
I shah (mptt). in both cases, the letters Alef and Shin are in the same 
position as here/ 5 We then have: 

Man AYSh tr'K Woman AShH rttrx 

AMSh vm AShM 

The only difference between the Hebrew words for man and woman 
and the combinations here is that Yud and Heh are substituted for 
the Mem, As mentioned earlier, Yud is male, while Heh is female. 
These tetters take the place of the Mem. which is the belly, since it 
is here that man and woman are differentiated, 44 

Also significant is the position of the Shift, which represents fire 
and passion. In man, the sequence is AMSh (sfqki* with the Shin 
exposed at the end. In w^oman, on the other hand, the sequence is 
AShM I si?**), with the Shin concealed in the middle. This is because 
the sexual organ in man is external, while in woman it is internal. 
The Talmud thus stales, “Man has his passion on the outside, while 
woman has hers on the inside." 45 



"ltd ib -irpi o'ni 'o nw "pborr 
rora iipi obipa ona Tn no m iyi 

napjl VKE3 "I3T VM3 f»3t 


He made Mem ip) king over water 
And He hound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Earth in the Universe 
Cold in the Year 
And the belly in the Soul: 

The male with MASh (x?m) 

And the female 1 with MShA mm) 


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Chapter Three 


3 m 0 itd h t m« ybun 

m m Dim pSijra, d»ep (m) ore ir nta nt js-un 

:tt’W3 napji o # tep3 ipt ^nti run 


/fr made Skin (v) king overfire 
A nd He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Heaven in the Universe 
Hot in the Jtar 
And the head in the Souk 
The male with SkAAf (o&v) 

And the female with ShMA fnac)* 



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rronina iriiD Tn jiiSim yiw 

j'3 /ri Xi ,X2 nuir"? >nta 

iic^m Tui rnppi -p man ,n F n ,T"i ,s H a 


Smn DouMe'J- 

Bcf ftJL Cirne/ fy. Dater 
Kaffaf Peh (n), Resh ft } t Tav (r\), 

They direct themselves with two longues 
Bei-Bheu Gimet-GhimeL Dalet Dhalei 
Kaf-Khaf Peh-Phek Resh-Rhesh. 7m Thaw 
A structure of so ft and hard\ 
strong and weak 


This is the set of double letters, each having two possible sounds, J In 
the Tree of Life diagram, they correspond to the seven vertical 
lines. 

The double sound is retained by all lews for Bet, Kaf and Peh, 
The hard Bet (a} has the sound of b, while the soft has the sound of 
v. The hard Kaf (a) has the sound of k , the soft, the sound of kh f like 
the German ch , as in “doch " The hard Peh (s) is pronounced like a 
p , while the soft is like an/ 

In all these cases, the hard sound is a plosive, pronounced in an 
explosive puff of sound. The soft sound is a fricative. 

The northern European Ashkenazic Jews pronounce the soft Tav 
In) like an s. Most southern European Sefardic Jews pronounce both 
the hard and soft Tav the same, tike a t. Some Sefardim pronounce 
the soft Tav like a soft fh, as in "thing. - * 

The Yemenite Jews also distinguish between the soft and hard 
Gimei and Dalet, The soft Gimel (>) has the sound of a f or among 
others, like a deep gutter'd fricative g . The soft Paid ft) has the 
sound of a hard th. as in “the.* 

As a general rule, these six letters. BGD tCPT (nao *H3), always 
take the hard form at the beginning of a word. This is one reason 
why no Biblical names are found beginning with an / This would 
imply a Peh ft) at the beginni ng of the name, and it would automati¬ 
cally take the hard sound, which is that of a p , 



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Table 28- Resh with a Dagesh in the Bihle, 


1. 

HaRimah 

WE 

1 Samuel 1:6. 

1 

HaR’item 

onffrnn 

T “ 1 * 

1 Samuel 10:24, 17:25, 2 Kangs 

6:32. 

3, 

Ra 

n 

Jeremiah 39;12 T Proverbs 11:21, 
20:22, 

4. 

Karat 

fro 

Ezekiel 16:4. 

1 

Share kh 

w 

ibid. 

6. 

Rosh 

E?*0 

Habakkuk 3:13. 

7. 

LeSharefcha 


Proverbs 3:8. 

1 s. 

Marat 

ma 

Proverbs 14:10. 

9. 

Rakh 

T) 

Proverbs 15:1* 

10. SheRoshs 

* ■f 1 

Song of Songs 5:2. 


The hard sound is distinuished by a dot, called a Dagesh, placed 
in the middle of the letter. 

Highly significant is the fact that the Resh (*i) is here considered 
to be one of the Doubles. Most posf-TaJmudical grammarians take 
precisely the opposite view, and state that the Resh never takes a 
Dagesh. Not only is there no verbal distinction between the hard and 
soft Resh. but modern Hebrew grammar does not even recognize 
such a difference tn the wniten form. 

There are, however, ten different words, appearing in fourteen 
places in the Bible, which are written with a Resh containing a 
Dagesh. 2 See Table 28. It is obvious, however, that the usual rules 
applying to the letters BGD KPTinc^ *tm) t do not apply to the Resh. 

The present sound of the Resh is a fricative, and is therefore most 
probably the soft sound. The hard Resh was either lost or deliberately 
concealed after the destruction of the Temple. In earlier times, its use 
was standard, and there is evidence from their transliteration of names, 
that its pronunciation was known to the authors of the Septtiagint, 5 By 
the 30lh century, however, the double Resh was ody used by the mem¬ 
bers of the small Mazy a community in Tiberias, 4 Tiberias had been the 
last city in which the Sanhedrin, the great court which preserved the 
tradition, had flourished.- This was one of the mysteries that the 
♦Sanhedrin had entrusted to the community of Tiberias. 

According lo the Sefer Yetzirah (2:3), Resh is in the group of 
Dentals. ZSShRTz rinser). Along with the letiers Zayin <r), Samekh 
(£>). Shin (v), and Tzadi (i), it is pronounced with the teeth. Accord¬ 
ing to the Long Version (2:3 >, it is sounded “between the teeth, with 
the tongue lying down, spread out." We cannot say that it is a rolled 


J 



»ri 






Chapter Four 


161 

r sound, since this involves the tip of the tongue. Ii would then be 
closest to the / sound, and should be included among the Linguals, 
DTLNTh (ruSert), Furthermore, the hard Resh should be a plosive, 
like all the other hard doubles. 

There is no r sound in use today that meets alt these criteria. 
Furthermore, there is no plosive sound pronounced with the teeth 
that could be a candidate for the hard Resh, The original pronuncia¬ 
tion of this letter therefore remains a mystery. 


Hard and Soft 

The hard sound is currently indicated by a dot in the middle of 
the letter, known as a Dagesh 

Before priming was introduced, most manuscripts also indi* 
catcd the soft sound by a line above the fetter, known as a Rafeh. 
This device is used in the Damascus "Keter Torah" Pentateuch, 
written tn the ninth century. 5 In the Firkovich collection of the 
Library of the Academy of Science in Leningrad, there is a codex of 
the Bible, dated from the year 916. that also makes use of the Rafeh. 
As Late as 14S0, this mark is found in handwritten Bibles and Prayer 
Books, 7 

The use of this mark is also mentioned by the Tikkuney Zohar . 
It states that the Rafeh above the letter is like the ‘“firmament above 
the Chayot" (Ezekiel 1:22}.* 

The Tikkuney Zohar also slates that the hard and soft sounds 
are related to the “Chayot running and returning" (Ezekiel 1*14). It 
says, “they run with the hard sound, and return with the soft."* 
According to some commentaries, this indicates that the hard plo¬ 
sive sound is pronounced more quickly than the soft fricative 
sound. ta 

However, since the Sefer Yetzirah (1:6) teaches that “running 
and returning'* also relates to meditative techniques, if would appear 
that the hard and soft sounds were used for this purpose. These seven 
Doubles would be used to climb the vertical lines in the Tree of Life, 
When the initiate would use the letters to “run** and climb upward, 
he would use the hard sound, and when he would “return," he would 
use the soft sound. 

The Babir slates that the letters are the body of the script, while 
the vowels are its soul. 11 The later Kahbalists note that the Dagesh 
and Rafeh are neither vowels nor letters, but intermediate between 
the two. l? It is this intermediate essence that man must perfect if he 
is to enter the domain of Soul. 



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j?“k tfij? nssn pic* ms3 ru mSiso pap 

:]m OlHp TT^WOO etti 


Sntfn Itoufrfar BtrZ) A^J?7~ fm» *U2j 
T^firJ&wktoww xj 

Wuribrn, f^oM, Seed, 

Li fe , .Dominance > Peace and Grace. 


These are the concepts that can be controlled through the seven dou¬ 
ble letters. The methods are similar 10 those outlined irt chapter 2. 

These seven qualities parallel the seven vertical lines in the Tree 
of Life diagram* They also relate to the seven times that the phrase, 
“it was good," occurs in the account of creation. 



rmarot -nzm jTtdd TJ3 nibiD3 y2V 
nrran Tcny nman nbtx nasn mian 
nmy Tthvm mton mo o*n rrnon nun® pm 
:iKV'3 p Jiman norm diSp jrnan 


Seven Doubles: BGD KPRT (mas uay 

xxi £i/i^ /« transposition. 

The transpose of Wisdom is Fatty 

The transpose of Wealth is Poverty 

The transpose of Seed u Desolation 

The transpose of Life is Death 

The transpose of Dominance is Subjugation 

The transpose of Peace is War 

The transpose of Grace is Ugimess, 


According to the Tikkuney Zohar . the hard sound implies harsh judg¬ 
ment, while the soft sound implies lenient judgment. 11 The good 
qualities would then be associated with the soft sound, and the bad 
qualities with the hard sound. There are. however, some authorities 
who reverse thisJ j| 


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Transpose 

The word for 'Transpose" here is Temur ah (man). Earlier, the 
Sefer Yetzirah said, M He engraved them. carved them, permuted 
them, weighed them, and transposed them” (2:2). The word for 
“transposed" there was Hcmir (Tan), which has the same root as the 
term used here, Earlier, we followed the commentaries who inter¬ 
preted Transposed w to relate to the use of the standard ciphers. From 
the text here, however, it would appear that it denotes the transposi¬ 
tion between the hard and soft sounds of the Doubles. 

Peace, War 

Peace and war relate both to nations and to the individual. A 
person can be at war with himself, or at peace with himself, t5 These 
letters can be used to transmit these qualities both to oneself or to 
another. 



nun nsai rnya jriw ran m^isj ya^ 
yxmz p^n miprr bym ami pm nym 
jdSg net ttpu ttim 


Seven Doubles: BGD KPR T (mss tjq! 

Up and down 
East and west 
North and south 

And the Holy Palace precisely in the center 
and it supports them ali 


Up and Down 

This should be compared to 1:5 and 1:13. 

As discussed earlier, the six directions parallel the Six Seftrol. 
The order given here would then be: Neizach, Hod, Tiferet. Yesod, 
Chesed, Gevurah. Also see Tables 29. 30 on page 164. 

The directions would indicate the direction that one must face, 
or the head motion that he use. when attempting to transmit the qual¬ 
ities mentioned in the last section. 






1*4 


SEFEIR VETZIRAH 


Table 29. According it) the Gra. 


Bet 

Wisdom 

Chesed 

South 

Gimel 

Wealth 

Gmirah 

North 

Palet 

Seed 

Tiferet 

East 

Kif 

Life 

Netzach 

Dp 

Peh 

Dominance 

Hod 

Down 

Resh 

Peace 

Yesod 

West 

Tav 

Grace 

Malkhut 

Center 

Table 30. According to Sffer HuKatuih 

Life 


Binah 


Peace 


Yesod 


Wisdom 


Chesed 


Wealth 


Gevurah 


Grace 


Tiferet 


Seed 


Netzach 


Dominance 


Hod 



1 Seler f/itkctnuh Sftb. on 1:2 {l^aj, 


Two of these concepts are alluded to in the Talmud: "He who 
wishes wisdom, let him face south; He who wishes wealth, let him 
face northT 1 ' 5 ’ This was reflected in the Temple, w'here the Menorah, 
which related to wisdom, was to the south, while the Tabic, mdtcal- 
mg wealth, was to the north. 

We sec here that the tetter Rcsh indicates peace. When there is 
no peace, this letter cannot be sounded correctly. 


The Holy Palace 

This is usually interpreted to denote Malkhut. i: The Hebrew' 
word for "Palace" here h Hekhai This has a numerical value 
of 65, the same as that of Adonoy (’m), the divine Name associated 
with Malkhut, 1 * 

Besides being the lowest Set!rah, Malkhui is also the end point 
of the Keter-Malkhut spiritual dimension. The “Hoiy Palace” in the 
center therefore not only relates to Malkhut alone, but also to its asso¬ 
ciation with Keter. In channeling sustenance from Ketcr, the center 
point supports ail the others,'* 

According to the Bahir* “Hekhal HaKodesh " here should not be 
read as "Holy Palace* but as “Palace of the Holy T i0 The *Holy" 







Chapter Four 


165 

denotes Keter. and the “Palace of the Holy" refers to Malkhttl when 
it is directly connected to Keter in the mystery of "Imbed their begin¬ 
ning in thdr end" (1:7). 

This also represents a great mystery in creation* as explained by 
Rabbi Judah Liva (1525-1609)* the Maharal of Prague, famed as the 
creator of a Gokm. He states that the reason why the world was cre¬ 
ated in six days is because a three-dimensional world has six direc¬ 
tions. as the Sefer Yeuirah states here. Each day was necessary to 
complete one of these six directions. The Sabbath is then the center 
point, which binds all together and supports them all. 31 The Sabbath 
thus represents Malkhut, but in the mode in which it is bound to 
Keter, 

These seven elements also parallel the seven branches of the 
Menorah, 12 They are also alluded to in the verse. “Seven eyes on one 
stone" (Zechariah 3:9). 33 Another such allusion is the verse, "Give a 
portion to seven, also to eight" {Ecclesiastes 11:2). 24 As discussed ear¬ 
lier (1:31* the number seven denotes the perfection of creation* while 
eight is the entrance into the transcendental. 



w «V> j?3tsr n*TS3 Tn mSips yjp 
ora Tpm ora pm ruiar «bi jratf 

■Man bj? *tn^ wm mo bp in iniwn 


Sewtt Doubter BGD KPRT fjnw na) 
Seven and not six 
Seven and not eight 
Examine with them 
And probe with them 
Make [each/ thing stand on its essence 
And make the Creator sit on His base. 


Seven and not six 

This is very much like 1:4, and the two should be compared. 
The seven Doubles are often associated with the seven lower 
Sefirot. 35 Actually* however, these seven letters represent the seven 
vertical lines on the Tree of Life diagram. The seven lower Sefirot 
arc merely the lower end points of these seven vertical lines. 


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1*6 


These letters are therefore the ladders leading upward from the 
seven lower Sefirot, and this is the way in which the two are associ¬ 
ated. One of the main functions of the seven Doubles is thus to dimb 
vertically on the ladder of the Sefirot, One rises through their hard 
sound, and descends with their soft sound- 

The Sefer Yetzirah warned us earlier that there were Ten Sefirot, 
no more and no less (1:4). Here the test warns us that there are seven 
vertical paths, no more and no less. If an eighth vertical path were 
added, it would be taken as a path from Keter to the Infinite Being, 
and such a path cannot exist. Furthermore, if a path to KcteT were 
omitted, one might be misled into thinking that Keter is God, and 
this is also erroneous. 


Examine with them 

This is also similar to 1:4, 

One can probe and examine with these letters very much like 
one does w r ith the Sefirot, In 1:4, however, the text also said, 
‘'Understand with wisdom* and be wise with Understanding," while 
here this is omitted. The discussion there involved the basic exercise 
of fluctuating between Chakhmah and Binah consciousness, Here, 
the exercise involves the letters themselves* rather than pure states 
of consciousness. 


Probe with them 

In 1:4 the reading was “probe fiom them,* while here it is “probe 
with them," 

When the text spoke of the Sefirot themselves, it could say, 
■probe from them, 14 since it is from the Sefirot that one receives spir¬ 
itual energy. Here, however, it is not the letters that provide spiritual 
energy, but the Sefirot to which they relate, The text therefore states* 
“probe with them*" indicating that the letters are the tools through 
which one can probe. 24 

The upper six of these seven Sefirot represent the six directions* 
Malkhut is the center point, the “Holy Palace." Taken subjectively, 
this “center point" is the center of being of the individual reaching 
up to the Sefirot. 

The first Sefirah that the initiate must reach is Malkhut, and he 
accomplishes this by meditating on the center, which is the center of 
his being. Only after he reaches Malkhut can he reach out to the other 


'iiqh; 


n 


\ Id 



ChapliT Four 


167 


Sell rot. The Bahir therefore identifier the “Holy Palace" with the 
very purest essence of thought. 27 



p*n |ppn no* ji'im r» jtiSuo yai? 

nynr uni ivi prom f?pv p-ra 
ist irsaa onytff nyasF rwa era' nyjicr oSijn 

:mpji 


5ewu Ztau^tax: i?C/£) ATT? T finw tgJ qf/burafcitfo/i 
/ff ffifmiW rAem, //c con^if fiffw, 

//c permuted them. He weighed them. 

He transformed them, 

And with them He formed. 

Sewn planets in the Universe, 

Seven days in the Year, 
gates in the Soul, 
male and female. 


He engraved them... 

The five methods mentioned here arc the same as those in 2:2 
and 3:3. 


Seven planets 

The seven vertical paths associated with the seven Doubles are 
manifest in the physical world as the astrological forces associated 
with the seven pianets: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars. Sun, Venus, Mercury 
and Moon. 

In Time, they arc associated with the seven days of the week, 
while in man, they are the seven openings in the head. These will be 
enumerated in the following sections. 

The Talmud also speaks of the various influences of the planets and 
days of the week. 28 These are closely related to their role in creation, and 
do not appear to follow the system of Sefer Yetzirah See Tabk 31 on 
page 168, The seven planets arc also associated with specific angels. 29 


ffi 


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Table 31 i ] bnels ,md iheir 


168 



-IS* 

JZ, - 'J JL- 

- sis'- 

k U j: n 
id X >1 4 

fi£ m ££ SL 


jy right© 


aterial 





Chapter tour 


\69 


Table 32, The days of the week and ihe planets according to the Tal¬ 
mud, Shah tail 156a, 


Sunday 

One-sidedness, leadership 

Monday 

Anger, seel usiven ess 

Tuesday 

Wealth, lechery 

Wednesday 

Intellect, memory 

Thursday 

Charity, generosity 

Friday 

Religious inclination 

Saturday 

Life, holiness 

Sun 

Independence, openness 

Venus 

Wealth, lechery 

Mercury 

Intellect, memory 

Moon 

Dependence, sec relive ness, manic-depressiveness 

Saturn 

Inaction, invulnerability 

Jupiter 

Generosity 

Mars 

Blood 


These angels channel the influence of the seven vertical paths through 
the planets. See Table 32. 

Also associated with the seven planets are specific signs, as well 
as a system of magic squares. 10 See figures 43 and 44 on pages 
170-171. The rule of seven also appears to be related to the mystical 
Seven Seals mentioned by the early Kabbalists. 11 See figure 45 on 
page 172, 

In order to understand the significance of the astrological forces, 
we must first understand the role of angels in the chain between the 
Sefiroi and the physical world. The Sefirot are in the Universe of 
Atzilub and below this is BeriyaJi, the universe of the Throne, which 
serves to allow- the Sefirot to interact with the lower worlds. Between 
Beriyah and Asiyah is Yetzirah, the world of the angels. 

Yetzirah is known as the ‘'world of speech" The Talmud states 
that “Every word emanating from God creates an angel.“ 3J This 
means that every' one of God's words is actually an angel. When we 
speak of “God's word." we are actually speaking of His interaction 
with the lower worlds. The force that traverses the spiritual domain 
is what we call an angel. 

The stars also form an important link in God's providence over 
the physical world. 13 Between God and man. there are many levels 
of interaction, the lowest being those of the angels and the stars. The 
Midrash thus teaches. “There is no blade of grass that does not have 
a constellation (\fazal) over it, idling it to grow."* 




170 


SEFER YETZIRAH 



Figure 43* Seals of the phi nets (from Ewer KaSlwham p. 175b}, 

As the commentaries explain, God's providence works through 
the angels, but these angels, in turn, work through the stars and plan- 
els. As some authorities pm ft, the aogeb are. in a sense, like souls 
to the stars. Thus, for example, some sources speak of the stars as 
having intelligence, but the commentaries note that this is actually 
speaking of the angels that are associated with them, 3,5 

There are, however, two types of angels. We have already spoken 
of the teaching that there are angels created with every word of God, 
Elsewhere we find that angels are created every day, with a new troop 
being made each morning. 54 On the other hand, there are many angels 
who are known by name, such as Gabriel and Michael who have per¬ 
manent existence. These are obviously a second kind of angel 

This is closely related to another discussion. In the Midrash, 
there is a question as to when the angels were created. Some say that 
they were made on the second day of creation, while others maintain 
that they were created on the fifth day. 5 * 


'Nqhle 




Chapter Four 


171 



Figure 44. Seals of the planetary angels (ovcording to Shoshun Yesod 
Glam # I727j . 

In discussing this, the Kabbalists amvc at a significant conclu¬ 
sion. They slate that there are two bask kinds of angels: permanent 
angels and temporary angels. The temporary angels were created on 
the second day, while the permanent ones, which are likened to the 
birds, were created on the fifth. They also state that an important 
difference between the permanent and temporary angels is the fact 
that only the permanent ones have names, 31 

One of the most important factors in astrology is the time and 
date of a person's birth, The Talmud thus states that there is a “Mazal 
of the hour.” 3 ' 8 The time, day. and date upon which a person is bom 
has an important influence on his destiny. 

Elsewhere the Talmud teaches that there is an angel called 
Laylah that oversees birth. It is this angel that proclaims if the indi¬ 
vidual will be strong or weak, wise or foolish, rich or poor, 4 ** 

Earlier, however, we discussed the Midrashic teaching, ^One 
angel cannot have two missions, and two angels cannot share the 
same mission" (h7). 41 Bui if this is a general rule, how can a single 


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172 


SEFER VETZIRAH 



Figure 45. Thv seven seats ^ 

angel oversee ihc birth of every person who was ever to be bom"? 
Does this not mean that he has many missions? 

The same question also applies to all the permanent angels who 
have names. These angels, which were created on the fifth day, exist 
forever. In the course of their existence, they must have many tasks and 
missions. Why does this rule not hold true with regard to them? 

In answering these questions, the commentaries note that the 
angels are like souls to the stars.* 1 A human soul is also a spiritual 
entity, and the same question could be asked about it How can a 
single soul be involved in many tasks? But here the answer is obvious. 
The soul is integrated by its association with a single body. It is not 
differentiated into many souls by its many tasks, because its associa¬ 
tion with the body allows it to remain an integrated whole. 

The same is true of the angels having names. These angels are 
like souls to the stars, and this also means that the stars and planets 




Chapter boar 


m 



Figure 46. The seven planets {front Maaseh Toviah. p. 4fbh 

are the ^bodies” of these angels. See figure 46. As such, each star 
serves as a focus for a particular angel maintaining it as an integrated 
whole, even though it may have many different tasks. 

There is therefore a one-to-one relationship between the stars and 
angels. Each star has its own particular angel and each angel has its own 
star, ft is this relationship that allows the named angels to have many 
tasks, and still not be differentiated into many angels by these tasks. Each 
named angel is integrated by the star that serves as its body. 

This also explains why the permanent angels have names. The 
Zohar teaches that every single star in the universe has a name/ 3 This 
is derived from the verse. "He brings out their host by number. He 
calls them all by name" (Isaiah 40:26). It is also written "He counts 
the number of the stars. He gives them each a name” (Psalms I47;4). 
The Midrash indicates that the different names of the stars corre¬ 
spond to the names of the different angels/* The one-to-one relation¬ 
ship is therefore clearly expressed. 

This also explains why the named angels were created on the fifth 
day; while the unnamed, temporary angels, were created on the second 
day. The named angels were associated with the stars, and could there¬ 
fore not be created until after the stars. The stars were not ere- 


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174 


SEFER YETZ1R4H 


aied umil the fourth day, and the angd* could therefore not be cre¬ 
ated until the fifth. 



DHKD pTY WOT CjHftJG D>3313 
rwj ro ttjot .njsS 3313 mu non 
nipji *i 3 t tfi>33 onjncr nj/3^ ,pi»n *cr nyiv 
instil ftsen >3pj w u'iw 'nv ou*y 'nv 


Swu planets in the Univent: 

Saturn, Jupiter. Mars, 

Sun. Venus. Mercury. Moon. 

Sewn days in the )ear 

Ihe seven days of ihe w eek 
Seven gates in the Soul. male and female: 
lw*> eves, two ears, tnv nostrils, 
and the mouth. 



nro *rpp> nosns '3 mx *pSon 

prtn m obiyi niaS dto nan n?3 nt 

iJOpJI 13T po* pjn njF3 


//e /hjJ< the letter Bet (if king over Wisdom 
And He hound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And w ith them He formed 
The Moon in the Universe 
Sunday in the Year 
The right eye in the Soul, 
male and female. 



Chapter Four 


175 


4 . Q m 2 ib iippi 'i im ybm 

m Y w or nbipo on«n ora hi rr?o nr jnsn 

■nop3i "o? vm ]>& |tm rwn 


/fe iwatfe //tp fofer G7mW ft) king over Wealth 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
A nd with them He formed 
Mars in the Universe 
Monday in the tor 
The right ear in the Soul, 
male and female. 


4:10 


mz ib nt^pi mo r i ni« ^bon 
'Vrhx? or qSt yi non ono Tsn nro rrr jnyi 
:nopii iOT win |*a v itui nmi 


He made the fetter Dalet h) king over Seed 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
The sun in the Universe 
Tuesday in the Year 
The right nostril in the Soul, 
male and female. 


4:11 


m2 ib -nppi o^no r 3 rnw yb an 

TP3"l OP dtijto mi: orro hyi an rti j*nyi 

lot ^uj3 b«cr pyi ruro 


He made the letter Kaf frJ king over Life 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Venus in the Universe 
W ednesday in the Year 
The left eye in the SouL 
male and female. 


Copyrighted m 



176 


SEFER YETZ3RAH 




h uppi nbvnon 's jrtt “pion 

ov aVljn 1313 du iyi nu at pun m 3 

rfiapjl lit P3J3 SkOP JtKI 13173 >tt”DTI 


He made the letter Peh ft} king over Dominance 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Mercury in the Universe 
Thursday in the Year 
The left ear in the Said 
male and female ; 




m3 h iirpi oiSot 'i nw 

ur* t/rtpi now om in nn rr? finyi 

:7Tip31 “Of P333 IKE*? mrm UPS *W 


//p made /pffpr Resh fy king over Peace 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Saturn in the Universe 
Friday in the Year 
The left nostril in ihe Souf 
male and female. 




pin ms h i^pi \U2 r n m tt "p^an 
twi jot uv aSij?3 pis oru m n?3 n t 
:13pn 131 MJ3 131 


He made the letter Tar (r\) king over Grace 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Jupiter in the Universe 
The Sabbath in the Year 
The mouth in the Soul, 
male and female. 



Chapter four 


Ml 


Here the Sefer Yetzirah discusses the letters in relation to the 
primary trails, the planets, the days of the week, and the pans of the 
body. There are a number of variations in these assignments, and the 
more important ones are given in Table 33 on pages 17S-179. 

Each letter can be used to influence the part of the body with 
which it is associated. This can be accomplished through using the 
array of 221 (or 231) Gates associated with that tetter, These letters 
are used in a similar manner when creating a Golem, 

Most important are the relationships between the letters, days of 
the week, and planets and between the seven primary traits; Wisdom, 
Wealth, Seed, Life, Dominance. Peace and Grace, One can use the 
methods of the Sefer Yetzirah to attain or enhance any one of these 
by using the soft pronunciation of the seven Doubles, If one wishes 
to transmit their opposite, one uses the hard pronunciation. 

Like other stanzas, this can also be read in the imperative: 
“Make Bet king over Wisdom, bind a crown to it* and combine one 
with another and with them form. * * 

The meditation involves using the seven Doubles in this manner. 
The dominant letter is placed at the beginning, and the other six let¬ 
ters are then perm u led. Thus, if one was seeking to transmit Wisdom* 
one would place Bet (a) at the beginning, and one would then per- 
mute the remaining Letters, GD RPRT (mao u}* in every possible 
manner. Similarly, if one were seeking Wealth, one would place 
Gimel (1) at the beginning, and would permute the letters BD KPKT 
(m« ia) in all 720 possible wavs. The permutation with which one 
begins is given in Table 34 on page ISO, 

At the same time, one should contemplate the part of the body 
associated with that particular trait. Thus, for Wisdom, one would 
concentrate on the right eye* while for Wealth, on the right ear. In a 
similar manner, one should also concentrate on the appropriate 
direction. 

Also important is the day of the week associated with each trait* 
If one wishes to transmit a certain trait, it is best done on the speci¬ 
fied day of the week. 

In using these methods* one must also lake planetary influences 
into account* Besides the influences given here* there are others given 
in Bereita of Shmuet HaKatan. which appear to be closer to those 
expressed in Western astrology, 41 See Table 35 on page ISO, 

Influence extends only from the visible members of our solar sys¬ 
tem. The distant planets such as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto* which 
are invisible to the unaided eye* are not considered to have any sig¬ 
nificant astrological influence. If one were to take these into account, 
one would also have to consider dozens of asteroids which would 
exert an even greater influence. 


righted material 



Table 33. The letters in relation to primary traits, planets, days of the week, and parts of the body. 


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Table 33. The letters in relation id primary traits, planels. days of the week, and parts of the body tcoMinued}. 
Bet GimeJ Daki Kaf Peh Resh Ta* 


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iso 


Table 34. Permutations of the seven Doubles 
(according to Saadia B bene). 


Bel 

3 

BGD KPRT 

mD3 1X2 

Gimcl 

i 

GBD KPRT 

121 

Dalet 

1 

DGB KPRT 

rnao an 

Kaf 

3 

KPRT BGD 

in 

Pch 

3 

PRT BGDK 

me 

Resh 

1 

RTBG DKF 

lun 

Tav 

n 

TBG DKPR 

iD3i ian 


Table 35. Influences according to Bareila of Shmuel HaKatan 
(see note 45). 

Saturn Poverty, destruction, internal injury and sickness. 

Mars Blood, wickedness, strife, external injury, war, hatred, 
jealousy. 

Jupiter Life* peace, good, prosperity, religious feelings, joy, 
wealth, political advance. 

Venus Grace, love, lust, children, fruitfulness. 

Mercury Wisdom, skill, writing language. 

Sun Light, darkness, work, accomplishment, travel, exile. 

Moon Holds keys to heaven and earth, surrogate for good and 
evil. 


The influence of the planets in the system of Scfer Yetzirah does 
not depend on their position in the sky, but on the hour of the day. 
This is discussed in a number of Talmudkal and Kabbalisltc 
sources . 441 

In order of their distance from Earth, the planets are: Saturn, 
Jupiter* Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury , Moon. Of these, Saturn is fur¬ 
thest from the Earth, and the Moon is closest, 4? 

According to the Bible, the stars and planets were made on the 
Fourth Day of creation (Genesis 1:14-19>. Counting from Sunday, 
the Fourth Day was Wednesday. 

In Biblical reckoning, however, night always proceeds day. The 
Torah therefore consistently says, “It was evening, and it was morn¬ 
ing," Evening always proceeds morning. 

The planets were placed in their positions on the eve of the 
Fourth Day. that is, on Tuesday night. They were placed one at a 
time, an hour apart, in order of their distance from earth. Thus, in 
the first hour (6 r m J, Saturn was placed in its position. In the second 
hour (7 s-m ). Jupiter was positioned. The order of creation of the 
seven planets was then as follows: 


'I'iqhh 





Chapter tour 


IS] 


First hour 

6 PM. 

Saturn 

Second hour 

7 P.M. 

Jupiter 

Third hour 

$ P.M 

Mars 

Fourth hour 

9 PM 

Sun 

Fifth hour 

10 PM. 

Venus 

Sixth hour 

1 1 P.M, 

Mercury 

Seventh hour 

12 P.M. 

Moon 


This is the ordering found of the eve of Wednesday on the chart of 
planetary influences- 

Eacfa planet then dominated the hour in which it was positioned. 
After the first seven hours, their dominance began a new cycle, with 
the planets in the same order. This seven hour cycle continues 
through* the week, and it is the same every week. The entire weekly 
cycle is given m the label of planetary influences see Table 36 on 
page 1ST 

One immediately notices that the first hour of each evening is 
dominated by a different planet, in the following order" 


Sun. 

Mon. 

Tues. 

Wed, 

Thurs, 

Fri. 

Sat. 

Mercury 

.1 upiter 

Venus 

Saturn 

Sun 

Moon 

Mars 


The first hour of each day is dominated by the planets in the 
following manner: 


Sun. 

Mon. 

Tues, 

Wed, 

Thurs, 

Fri. 

Sat, 

Sun 

Moon 

Mars 

(Tew) 

Mercury 

(Woden) 

Jupiter 

(Thor) 

! Venus 

! (Frige) 

_—_J 

Saturn 


Note that the name of each day is associated with The planet that 
dominates its first hour in the morning,'** Thus, Sunday is dominated 
by the Sun, Monday (moon day), by the Moon, and Saturday, by Sat¬ 
urn. In the English names of the other days. The Nordic or Germanic 
names of the planets are used 

The Romans had originally named the days after the planets 
dominating their first hour. This nomenclature still survives in the 
Romance languages. Thus, in French. Tuesday is Xfardi (Mars’ dayh 
Wednesday is Mercredi (Mercury's day), Thursday is Jeudi (Jupiter’s 
day}, and Friday is Vcndrcdi (Venus' day), 

Saturn dominates Saturday, which is the Sabbath. In Hebrew, 
Sabbath is Shabbat (naer), and hence, Saturn is called Shabbatai 
piirotf). 

The planet that dominates the first hour of the day or night is 
said lo dominate that entire period. The most auspicious limes. 


TIC 


:ri; 































Table Mi. Weekly cycle tif planetary influences. 


182 


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Copyrighted material 









Chapter Four 


m 


Tabic 37. Concepts and auspicious limes {according to Graf 

Wtsdom 

Bel* Moon* right eye, Chesed, south, white: 

Saturday night, 7-8 pm, 2-3 a.m; Sunday, 9-10 ax, 
4-5 Pit 

Wealth* Love 

Gimcl, Mars* right car* Gevurah* north, red: 

Sunday night, 7-8 p m* 2-3 * m ; Mondays 9-10 a m , 
4-5 pm. 

Seed: Children and things relating to them 

Da let* Sun* right nostril. Tiferet* east, yellow; 

Monday night* midnight-1 am.; Tuesday, 7-8 
2-3 p.m 

Life, Health 

Kaf, Venus, left eye, Netzach, up* upper eyelid; 

Tuesday night* 10-11 ?m, 5-6 am : Wednesday, 
noon-1 p.m 

Dominance* Advancement 

Peh* Mercury* left car. Hod. down, tower eyelid; 

Wednesday night, 8-9 pm, 3-4 am; Thursday, 

10-11 am, 5-6 p.m. 

Peace* internal and external 

Resh. Saturn, left nostril* Yesod, west, black; 

Thursday night, 7-8 pm,, 2-3 am ; Friday, 9-10 am* 
4-5 p.w. 

Grace, attractiveness, personality improvement 

Tav, Jupiter* mouth* Malkhui, center lself), blue; 

Friday night, midnight-! ami Saturday, 7-8 AIW , 

2-3 p m. 

Be careful not to violate Sabbath. 


however, arc those associated both with the correct day and with the 
correct planet. See Tabic 36 on page 182. Thus, for example, in our 
(GraJ version of Sefer Yetzirah* both Sunday and the Moon are associ¬ 
ated with Wisdom. During the day on Sunday* the Moon is dominant 
in the fourth and eleventh hours, or from 9-10 am and from 4-5 pm 
T hese are then the most auspicious times for working to attain 
Wisdom. 4 ’ 

There is a commandment, “There shall not be found among 
you,., one who calculates times {MeOnanT {Deuteronomy 18:10). 
In the Talmud, according to Rabbi Akiha, this specifically applies to 
one who calculates auspicious times, and a number of authorities 
accept this opinion as binding. 55 This, however, only means that one 




m 


SEFER YETZ1R.AH 


Table 38. Days and the 42-letter name. 


E 

Sunday 

AEG YThTz 

am* uk 

2 

Monday 

* ^ 

K.RQ ShTN 

jot? 

3 

Tuesday 

NGD YKSh 

113 

4 

Wednesday 

BTR TzThG 

Wf Tt33 

5 

Thursday 

ChKB TNG 

ltso 3jsn 

6 

Friday 

YGL PZK 

pra Sr 

7 

Saturday 

ShKU TzYTh 

JTJT 


Table 39, Days, vowels and mgcts. 


Sunday 

Semeturia. Gczeriel. Wenacl, Lemuel 

Segol 

Monday 

Shmajytl, Berckhiel, Abaniel 

Sh'va 

Tuesday 

Charnel, Labadiel, Machniel 

Cho4am 

Wednesday 

Chizkiel + Rahitief Kidashiel 

Chirak 

Thursday 

Shmuaicl, Ra umiel, Kuniel 

Shurek 

Friday 

ShimushieL Raphael, Kidushiel 

Shurek 

Saturday 

Tzurid, Raziel, Yoficl 

Tzerey 


should not make astrology a dominant influence in one's daily life. 
As we see from all the commentaries on Sefer Yeutirah. when one is 
engaged in these mystical techniques, this prohibition is not 
applicable, 51 Sec Table 37 on page 183. 

Although most versions of Sefer Veto rah set the planets in the 
order in which they were created, the Gra version, which we are 
using, follows a different system, it is based on the ordering of the 
planets as found in the Zobar,” There, wr find the following relation¬ 
ship between the planets, Sefirot and colors: 


Moon 

Mars 

Sun 

Saturn 

Jupiter 

Venus 

Mercury 

White 

Red 

Yellow 

Black 

Blue 

upper 

eyelid 

lower 

eyelid 

Chesed 

Gcvurah 

Tifenet 

Yesod 

Malkhui 

Nctzaeh 

Hod 

Sun, 

Mon. 

Tuts, 

Fri, 

Sat. 

Wed. 

Thurs, 


When the Sefirot and days are placed in their usual order, the planets 
appear in the order given in our version of Sefer Yeuirah, This version 
therefore is that which fits most closely to the teachings of the Zahar. 

The association with colors is also significant, since one can also 
meditate on these colors when seeking to transmit the associated 
influence. The colors are also useful in general in meditations involv¬ 
ing the Sefiroi.- 1,1 

Also associated with the days of the week are the letters of the 
42-letter name. See Table 38, This can be used in various meditations 
involving these days,” The same is true of the angels associated with 
each day.” See Table 39. 


Jopy righted malaria 









Chapter hour 


3 35 


4:15 


pppnj jtot rriss;* tjo jot 

^ns. jot ,r ppn 7\yw t Tmhty hjot 
hjot jinain rrjOT jrnni hjot t nw* hjot 
4 t dot jot ,dw jot ,jtij?ot njOT ,o*a; 

™ 33n p^sS .tnpn S3>m ? jit^ 31* rtjOT 

:DOTn b 3 rm m™ 


Sew*? OflwWa' /?<?£? /CERT fmflo toJ 
UTrA ifre/m were engraved 

Seven Universes, seven firmaments, 
seven lands, seven seas, 
seven rivers, seven deserts, 
seve?i days ; seven weeks ; 
iwi irars, otctz 

nm/ f/ic //o/y Palace. 

TVffre/bre, Me made sevens beloved 
under all the heavens, 


Seven Universes 

The taler Kabhalists write that these are the Seven Chambers in 
the Universe of Berivah r ^ These are given in Table 40 on page 
1 & 6 . 

Of these, the two lowest, “Brickwork of Sapphire" and "Essence 
of Heaven," are mentioned in the verse, “They saw the God of Israel, 
and under His feet was the 'Brickwork of Sapphire,' clear like the 
'Essence of Heaven™ (Exodus 24:10), These Seven Chambers parallel 
the seven lower Sefirot in the Universe of Atzilut. T hey also parallel 
the seven watches of angels in the Universe of Yetzirah. 

Some early sauces slate that these Seven Universes are the seven 
thousand years that the world is supposed to exist. 11 The first six par¬ 
allel the six weekdays, while the seventh thousand years is the “day 
when all will be Sabbath.*' 5 ® 

Others relate the Seven Universes to the Kabbalistsc doctrine of 
Sabbaticals. This states that there are seven distinct periods of cre¬ 
ation, each lasting seven thousand years.” According to some 
Kabbah5ts„ the present creation is the second, w r hile others state that 
it is the sixth or seventh. In any case, there are seven cycles, each 
seven thousand years long. This means that the universe as we know 
it will last for 49,000 years. 



SEFER VETZIRAH 




Table 40 The seven chambers of the Universe o! Beriyah, 


Kodesh Kedashim 

Holy of Holies 

Rat2on 

Desire 

Ahavah 

Love 

Zekhiit 

Merit 

Nogah 

Luster 

Etzem HaShamayim 

Essence of Heaven 

Livnat HaSappir 

Brickwork of Sapphire 


According to Lhe master Kabbalists, Rabbi Isaac of Acco, when 
counting the years of these cycles, one must not use an ordinary phys¬ 
ical year, but rather, a divine year,® The Midrash says that each 
divine day is a thousand years, basing this on the verse, “A thousand 
years m Your sight are as but yesterday" (Fsalms 90:4h fel Since each 
year contains 365'/* days, a divine year would be 365 t 250 years 
long. 

According to this, each cycle of seven thousand divine years 
would consist of 2.556,750.000 earthly years. This figure of two-and- 
*i-half billion years is very close to the scientific estimate as to the 
length of time that life has existed on earth. 

If we assume that the seventh cycle began with the Biblical 
account of creation, then this would have occurred when the universe 
was 15,340*500,000 years old. This is very close to the scientific esti¬ 
mate that the expansion of the universe began some fifteen billion 
years ago. 

The current Hebrew year is 5736. In this calendar, the year in 
which Adam was created is counted as year one. If we then count the 
Biblical genealogies from the time of Adam, we find that 5736 years 
have elapsed since the time he was formed. However, the Kabbalists 
clearly say that other human beings existed before Adam, and this is 
even supported in scripture,* 2 

Actually, there are two accounts of creation in the Book of Gene¬ 
sis, The first chapter of Genesis speaks of the initial creation of the 
universe, while the second chapter speaks of the creation of Adam, 
During the six days of creation described in the first chapter, God 
did not actually create the world, but rather, created the ingredients 
which would allow the world to develop. It thus refers to the creation 
of all matter, along with space and time.* 2 It was during these six days 
that God brought the universe into being from absolute 
nothingness.* J 

After these six days of creation, God allowed the universe to 
develop by itself, renewing His creation each seven thousand divine 
years or 2.5 billion earthly years. All the laws of nature and the prop- 



riqhtf 




t’ftaip.fcf four 


187 


Table 4], Firmaments, earths, and attributes (from Ointr HoShem) 


t 

Vilon 

Eretz 

Chesed 

Life 

2 

Rakia 

Adam ah 

Gevurah 

Peace 

3 

Shachakim 

Arka 

Tiferet 

Wisdom 

4 

Zcvul 

Charba 

Neizach 

Grace 

5 

Ma'on 

Vabashah 

Hod 

Wealth 

! 6 

Makhon 

Tevel 

Yesod 

Seed 

1 7 

Aravol 

Chalad 

Malkhut 

Dominance 


eriies of matter had been fixed for all tunc, as it is written, “He has 
established them forever; He has made a decree which shaft not be 
transgressed” {Psalms 148:6), 45 It is similarly written. "Whatever God 
decrees shaft be forever; nothing shall be added to it. and nothing 
shall be taken away" (Ecclesiastes 3:14}™ 

Each of the six cycles of creation brought something new into 
the world. The fifth cycle was (he one that brought forth life, and 
this took place around two and a half billion years ago. Around 
974 generations before Adam, or some 25*000 years ago, man 
developed all the physical and mental capabilities that we possess 
today. 67 This man had evolved from "the dust of the earth 1 ' (Gene¬ 
sis 2:7), but he still lacked the divine soul that would make him a 
spiritual being. God then created Adam, the First true human being 
with a soul, "and He blew in his nostrils a soul of life” (Genesis 
2:7), 68 According to tradition* the creation of Adam took place on 
Rosh HaShanah, the Hebrew New Year, which occurred on Sep¬ 
tember 9, 3761 ict H 


Seven Firmaments 

These are listed in the Long Version (4:13) as being: Vilon, 
Rakia, Shechakim. ZevuL Ma'on, Makhon. Aravof These are also 
mentioned in the Talmud, 7Q See Table 41. 

According to the Ari, these parallel the seven lower Sc firm of the 
Universe of Asiyah. 11 


Earths 

The Long Version (4:13) lists these as: Adamah. Tevd, 
Nash i yah, Tzaya, Chalad, Eretz, Chalad, Another source gives them 
as: Eretz, Adam ah. Arkah, Gey, Tzaya, Nasya, Tevd, K Still another 





SEFER YETZIRAH 


m 

ancient source lists them: Erctz, Adamah, Arka, Chari va,, Yaba$hs f 
Tevel, Chalad. 7 * 

According to many authorities, these refer to the seven conti¬ 
nents: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia. Au^ 
tralla. Antarctica. 74 There is no continent on the north pole, and 
hence, the north is said to be “open," 75 

Both the seven firmaments and the seven earths are said to paral¬ 
lel the Sefsrot in the lower world. They also parallel the seven attri¬ 
butes under discussion here. 

Seven Seas 

Many com men lanes state that these are the seven takes and seas 
in the Holy Land/* 

In modem terminology, the seven seas represent the seven 
oceans: the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific* South 
Pacific, Indian Ocean. Arctic Ocean. Antarctic Ocean. The seas in 
the Holy Land represent a microcosm of these oceans. 

Seven Rivers 

These are the seven rivers associated with the Holy Land: The 
Jordan. Yarmoeh, Kirrrtyon, Poga. Pishon. Gichon, Chidekel, 77 The 
Euphrates is not counted because it includes them all. 71 ' These parallel 
the great rivers of the world. 

Seven Deserts 

These arc the seven desens through which the Israelites passed 
during the Exodus from Egypt; Eitan, Shur, Sin. Sinai, Paran. Tzin, 
Kadmut , n 

Se ven Days 

These are the seven days of the week. They are also the seven 
days of the major festivals, Pesach {Passover) and Succot 
(Tabernacles). 

Seven Weeks 

These are the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot. The 
Torah thus says, *"You shall count from the day after the holiday,... 
seven complete weeks*" (Leviticus 23:15). 




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Chapter Four 


1B9 


Seven tearj 

These are the seven years in the Sabbatical cycle. The Torah pre¬ 
scribes that on the seventh year the land should lie fallow and not be 
worked: “Six years shall you sow your Held,. .but the seventh year 
shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land” (Leviticus 25:3-4), 


Seven Sabbaticals 

At the end of seven Sabbatical cycles, the Jubilee year was cele¬ 
brated. All slaves would then be freed, and real properly would be 
returned to its hereditary owner. The Torah states, 44 You shall num¬ 
ber seven Sabbaticals, seven times seven years , ** making forty-nine 
years .,. And you shall sanctify ihe fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty 
throughout the land .--it shall be a jubilee to you* (Leviticus 
25:8,10), 


Seven Jubilees 

This is seven limes 49 for 50) years* a total of 343 (or 350) years. 
The First Temple stood for 410 years, and during ihis period, Israel 
observed seven jubilees,* 0 

This also relates to the concept of Sabbaticals of creation* where 
each jubilee period consists of 49,000 years. There will be seven such 
jubilee periods, and the universe will therefore last a total of 343,000 
years. These are divine years, each one consisting of 365,250 earthly 
years. Thus, the total time between the initial expansion and Final 
collapse of the universe will be 125*257,500*000 years. This figure of 
125 billion years is very dose to the scientific calculation. After this 
period the universe will become completely spiritual. 

One of the aspects of the future world will be extreme longevity 
on the pan of mankind. Regarding this period* it is foretold* “As a 
child one shall die at a hundred years old” (Isaiah 65:20), ,( According 
to Rabbi Isaac of Acco, the lifespan will have become so extended 
that one who dies at the age of a hundred will be considered like a 
child currently dying at the age of 3. Thus* the normal lifespan will 
be approximately 33 times its present value, or around 2,000 years,® 2 
Isaac of Acco furthermore states that these will be divine years, so 
the human lifespan will eventually be extended to the order of eighty 
million years!* 3 



190 


5EFER VFTZIRAH 


77*^ Z/o/v 1 Palace 

The is the seventh point, the center of the other six, as explained 
above (4:4). 


He made sevens beloved 

According to Rabbi Abraham Abu.tafia, there are seven levels in 
creation: Form, matter. combination, mineral, vegetable, animal, and 
man. Man is thus the seventh level, and is most beloved by God. w 


4:16 


□’3UN vb>V ,EJ»ra W JTU13 p»;j« 

mm Q'inx yniN ,o>m nw mm 

mm p*j3n vsn ,q'tu onttyi njn-iR 
rmu yw miD mix w ,o>ra onwyi 
ji^qh mm pro ,D\ra □rnpy'i 
|W rro iwm m -[Vki j*ao ,u»m P’jraiKi 
rfti y jmn ptn mib Sts* nsn 


Two stones; build 2 homes 

Three stones build 6 homes 
Four stones build 24 houses 
Five stones build 120 houses 
Six stones build 620 houses 
Seven stones build 5040 houses 
From here on go out and calculate 

that which the mouth cannot speak 
and the ear cannot hear. 


Two stones 

Here the letters of the alphabet are called “stones,'* The 
Kabbalists sav that they are “stones Quarried from the great Name of 
God,”** 

The text here is discussing the number of permutation* possible 
with a given number of letters. If one has 2 letters. AB, one can per- 


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Chapter Four 


191 


mule them in 2 ways: AB and BA. These are the “2 stones"' that 
“build 2 houses.” 

If one has 3 letters, one can make 6 permutations: ABC, ACB T 
BAC, BCA, CAB, CBA, Use has already been made of this above 
(1:13, 3:6-8). In a similar manner, 4 letters can be permuted in 24 
ways, and 5 in 120. 

The numbers are not difficult to obtain. If one starts with one 
Idler X, a second letter can be placed either lo its right or to its left. 
This gives 2 permutations: AX and XA. 

Now if we take each combination XY, we can place a third letter 
in three possible positions: AXY, XAY, XYA, Since the letters XY 
themselves could be permuted in 2 ways, the total number of permu¬ 
tations is 2 x 3, or 6. 

Similarly, if we have 3 letters XYZ, a fourth letter can be placed 
in one of 4 places: AXYZ, XAYZ, XYAZ, XYZA. Since the 3 letters 
XYZ can be permuted in 6 different ways, the total number of per¬ 
mutations is 6 a 4, or 24. 

If we then take 4 letters WXYZ, a fifth letter can be inserted on 
one of 5 places: AWXYZ, WAXYZ t WXAYZ, WXY.AZ, WXYZA. 
Since WXY2 can be permuted in 24 ways, the total number of per¬ 
mutations is 5 x 24, or 120, 

We therefore see, that for a given number of letters, the number 
of permutations is given by 

I x 2 x 3 x * , , . x M 

This is known as N factorial, and is usually written it! The number 
of permutations for all numbers of letters up lo 22 is given in Tables 
42 and 43 on page 192. 

In general, letter permutations played an important role in the 
practices of the meditative K abba lists. These permutations were 
often chanted very much like a mantra in order to bring about a 
desired state of consciousness. w A number of such texts contain 
extensive tables of such permutations,*' 


That which the mouth cannot speak 

This expression is also found in the Talmud.*® 

Assume that a person wished to pronounce all 5040 possible per¬ 
mutations of seven letters. He would therefore have to pronounce a 
total of 5040 x 7, or 35,280 letters. Assuming that he could pro¬ 
nounce three letters a second, it would take over three hours to recite 
them alL Difficult, but not impossible. 


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SEFER YETZ1RAH 


Table 42. Permutations Tor 7 letters. 


Number of 
Letters 

Permutations 



l 

1 


I 

2 

1 x 2 

- 

2 

3 

1x2x3 

. 

6 

4 

i x 2 x 3 x 4 


24 

5 

1 x2x3x4x5 

- 

120 

6 

1 x2xjx4xjx6 


720 

7 

1x2x3x4x5x6x7 

- 

5040 


Table 43. Permutations for 22 letters. 


Number of 
Letters 

Permutations 

N 

1 

I 

1 ! 

2 

1 

2 ! 

3 

6 

3! 

4 

24 

4! 

5 

120 

5! 

6 

720 

6 ! 

7 

5.040 

7! 

8 

40.320 

8 f 

9 

362,880 

9! 

10 

3,628,800 

L0! 

11 

39,916,800 

1 !! 

12 

479.00J.600 

L2! 

13 

6.227.020,800 

13! 

14 

87. J 78.291.200 

14! 

15 

J 307.674,368.000 

15! 

16 

20,922,789,888.000 

16! 

17 

355,687.428,096.000 

17! 

IS 

6.402373,705,728,000 

18! 

19 

121.645J 00.408,832,000 

19! 

20 

2,432302,008,176,640.000 

20 ! 

21 

51,090,942,17 L ,709340,000 

2 l! 

22 

1,124,000,727,77 7,607.680,000 

22 ! 


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]M 


If one wished 10 pronounce all possible permutations of eight let¬ 
ters, he would have to recite a total of 40,320 x fl t or 322,560 letters. 
At the same me. this would take approximately thirty hours. For all 
practical purposes, this is outside the realm of normal human capa¬ 
bility. The text therefore states that this is something that “the mouth 
cannot speak, and the ear cannot hear.” 

The Sefer Vetzirah includes it here* since it is possible to pro¬ 
nounce all the permutations of the seven Doubles, and apparently, 
this was done in some techniques .** In the next chapter, the text will 
be speaking of the twelve Elemental*, which can be permuted almost 
a half billion ways. At the same rate as above* it would take 63 years 
to pronounce all these permutations. 

From Table 43, wc see that there are about a sextillion (1Q 21 ) pos¬ 
sible permutations of all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This is 
very close to the total number of stars in the observable universe. 
This universe contains around a hundred billion (1G ]I ) galaxies, each 
one with approximately ten billion {10 a0 > stars. A very similar figure 
is also found in the Talmud. 90 Thus, from the permutations of the 
alphabet, a name can be formed for every star in the universe. This 
is in accordance with the leaching that every star has an individual 
name. 91 


•rial 





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CHAPTER FIVE 


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Chapter Five 


19? 



'n /? J n me nvs mvy d*to 
pw> /p y 'y /c 'S /* a 
wn&n ,;ipind rrjrav rs*so ,y*n n™ http 
ipTnip rtt^yb tin h i^p rnn 


/fafc (a), Vm (\), Zayin ft), 

Chet (n), Tet tel Yud ('I 
Lamed f>). Nun fy), Samekh fo). 
Eyin (y) t Tzadi (?). Kuf (p). 

Their foundation is 

speedy thought, motion, 
sight, hearing, action, 
coition, smeil, sleep , 
anger, taste, laughter. 


Anger 

This can. also be interpreted as temper or agressivencss. 


Taste 

The Hebrew word here. L'eitah , literally means swallowing. 
Many commentaries, however, interpret it to mean taste. 1 

These attributes do not have opposites. They can either be pres¬ 
ent or absent, but their absence is not the opposite of their presence. 
They are therefore represented by the twelve Elemental, which only 
have a single sound. 

As we shall see. these qualities parallel the twelve months, as well 
as the twelve signs of the zodiac. They also have a parallel in the 
twelve tribes of Israel 

There are two ways of ordering the twelve tribes. The first is that 
which occurs in the beginning of the Book of Exodus (1:2-5): Reuben, 
Simeon. Levi. Judah. Issachar, Zebu inn, Benjamin. Dan, Naftali, 
Gad, Asher, Joseph.- 

The first sot here are Reuben, Simeon. Levi, Judah, Issachar, and 
Zebuiun. These are the six sons of Leah in order of their birth. s Then 



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Chapter Five 


199 


comes Benjamin, the son of Rachel. Joseph, the other son of Rachel, 
was in Egypt, and is therefore not mentioned until the end. Following 
these are Dan and Naftali, the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid. 
Then comes Gad and Asher, the sons of Leah's handmaid, Zilpah, 
who were born after the sons of Bilhah, 

A number of authorities list the twelve tribes in this order/ 
According to this, Joseph's sign comes out to be Pisces (Dagim), and 
this is also reflected in Talmudic teachings 5 {see Table 44). 

Other authorities list the tribes in the order of their camps in the 
desert/ See figure 47 on page 200, This order is: Judah, Issachar, 
Zebulun: Reuben, Simeon, Gad; Ephraim. Manasseh, Benjamin; 
Dan, Asher. Naftali/ On the eastern camp was Judah, Issachar and 
Zebulun; on the south, Reuben. Simeon, and Gad; on the west, 
Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, and on the north, Dan, Asher, 
and NaftalL According to some authorities, this was also the order 
of the stones on the Urim and Thumim/ 

This change of order occured after Levi was given the priesthood 
and removed from the order of the tribes. To complete the twelve, 
Joseph was divided into two tribes. Ephraim and Manasseh. This was 
in accordance to Jacob's blessing, ’"Ephraim and Manasseh shall be 
like Reuben and Simeon to me” (Genesis 48:5). 

When the traits are in the order given in our (Gra) version, the 
tribes must be matched up with them in the order of the camps, 9 The 
division of Joseph, however, is not considered, and therefore, Joseph 
is in the place of Ephraim, and Levi in the place of Manasseh, See 
Table 45. 


Table 45. The Gra version. 


Month 

Quality 

Tribe 


Nissan 

Speech 

Judah 


lyar 

Thought 

Issachar 


Si van 

Action 

Zebulun 


Tamo? 

Sight 

Reuben 


Av 

Hearing 

Simeon 


Elul 

Action 

Gad 


Tishrei 

Coition 

Ephraim 

(Joseph) 

Qieshvan 

Smell 

Manasseh 

(Levi) 

Rislev 

Sleep 

Benjamin 


Tevet 

Anger 

Dan 


Shevat 

Taste 

Asher 


Adar 

Laughter 

Nafuli 



>y rici 


:ri 




200 


SE.FEK VETZlftAH 


North 

Dan 
Asbcr 
N a ft ah 


Eu>e 

Judah 
luachar 
Zebu Inn 


Soul It 

Reuben 

.Simeon 

Ciad 

Figure 47, The tribes in the desert. 


Wes l 
Ephraim 
Mena web 
B-enjamin 


* 

These twelve attributes also parallel the twelve permutations of 
the Tetragrammaton. Even though Tour letters can normally be per¬ 
muted 24 different ways, since two letters are the same here, this 
number is halved, 14 See figure 48, 

One begins with the name YHVH, Retaining the Y al the begin¬ 
ning, the V is first placed at the end (YHHV>, and then immediately 
after the Y (YVHH). See figure 49 on page 202. 

The Y is then placed at the end:, setting the first H in the begin¬ 
ning (HVHYJl As before, the middle letter* which is now the final H. 
is first placed at the end (HVYHJ It is then placed after the initial 
letter <HHVYf 

The H in the initial permutation in this triad (HVHY) is then 
placed at the end. leaving the V at the beginning {VHYH), Again, the 
middle letter, the Y t is first placed at the end (VHHY% and then after 
the first letter (VYHH). 

The V is then placed at the end* leaving the final H in the begin¬ 
ning <H YHV) r The middle H is then moved to the end (HYVH), and 
then to the second position (HHYV). 

According to most authorities, this is the order of permutations 
of the Tetragrammaion paralleling the months of the year. 11 There 
are certain verses that also pertain to these, where the letters of the 
permutations appear as either the initial or final letters of the 
words. ta 




Choptw Ftve 


201 


Abo associated with these are the Twelve Houses, which are the 
twelve angular divisions of the sky. See Table 45 on page 199. The 
positioning of the constellations and planets in these determine their 
astrological influenced This division is also used in western 
astrology. 



Figure 48- Circle of pvrmuianons. houses. tribes, months, tmd signs (at- 
ranting n* Rtiaratl 5m, 



202 


SEFEK YE7Z1KMI 



Figure 4V Permutations of YHVH and EHYH iu ayrding to Of 
H uLevki iiiih . p . H6. Etui and Adar are interchanged at cording to the older 
Kabbaiistx. Aho imludtd are the vent* from which the permuratituis ore 
denied, the Sfftrat, and organs of Parfntftm 




Chapter Five 


203 



,'d 3 /* p n /t 1 'n nipwp rnery o'Jit? 

Sra ,|io:6k niij ipy bw pio> /p ■* 'y 
jrmta bui Jl^iDy jvmra Sdj n*on irmts 
jrmra rrom Sin: iron n*nm Snj jvmn 
^i3J jtsii n*3Tya bu; jrnnn rpom biu 
n'jisy Vaa ,jrnnn JVTTya bna n *am imya 
jrnrm n>iBY ^ua rmya jtjid* Sna jvoti 
:oSiy mbujs |n pi ij? ny iy pbm pamnai 


7W»\? Element a Is 

HVZ ChTY LNS OTzQ (pi j? eoS vn m) 

Their foundation is the twelve diagonal boundaries: 
The east upper boundary 
The east northern boundary 
The east lower boundary 

The south upper boundary 
The south eastern boundary 
The south lower boundary 
The Ht>sr upper boundary 
The west southern boundary 
The west lower boundary 

The north upper boundary 
The north western boundary 
The north lower boundary 
They extend continually until eternity of eternities 
And it is they that are the boundaries of the Universe. 


The twelve Elemental* are said to relate to the twelve diagonal 
boundaries. See Table 46 on page 204. These correspond to the 
twelve edges of a cube. When a person uses these letters in any medi- 
iaiion, he must also concentrate on the appropriate direction. 

The ordering here begins on the east, and then goes through the 
four primary directions: east, south, west* north. This corresponds to 
the teaching, "‘Whenever you turn, turn toward the right. 

The ordering of directions is also the same as that of the four 
camps in the desert. 1 * The twelve diagonal boundaries thus corre¬ 
spond to the twelve tribes. It is for this reason that our (Gra) version 
gives three boundaries for each of the four sides. These correspond 
to the three tribes in each of the four camps. 1 * 

In each of these four directions, one first takes the upward 
boundary, then the right boundary, and then the lower boundary . In 


TIC 


;n; 



204 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


Table 4f>. Two versions of the diagonal boundanes. 


Letter 

Gra, 

Long Version 

Short Version Perm u tat ion 

Tribe 

n 

east upper 

east north 

YHVH 

Judah 

> 

east north 

east south 

YHHV 

Lssachar 

t 

east lower 

cast upper 

YVHH 

Zebulun 

Tl 

south upper 

east lower 

HVHY 

Reuben 

S 

south east 

north upper 

HVYH 

Simeon 

1 

south lower 

north lower 

HHVY 

Gad 

s 

west upper 

west south 

VHYH 

Joseph 

i 

west south 

west north 

VHHY 

Levi 

p 

west lower 

west upper 

VYHH 

Benjamin 

p 

north upper 

west lower 

HYHV 

Dan 


north west 

south upper 

HYVH 

Asher 

P 

north lowner 

south lower 

HHYV 

Naftali 




Figure 50 Tht teller Bet formed by the path of tracing she boundaries. 







Chapter The 


205 




Gra Shon Version 

Figure 51. The position of the Eh*menials according to birth main 
versions* 


this manner one describes the letter Bet (a) on each side. This corre¬ 
sponds to the teaching lhat the world was created with a Bet, this 
being the first letter of the Torah, 1 ' See figure 50, 

A number of other versions give the twelve boundaries like they 
are here. 1 * Other versions, however, use a different system. They give 
all the eastern boundaries first, then the two remaining northern 
ones, then ail the western boundaries, and finally, the two remaining 
southern edges 1 * See figure 5 L 

The Bahir relates these twelve diagonals to the Tree of Life, 25 
There is a one-to-one relationship between the diagonal boundaries 
and the diagonal lines in the Tree of Life diagram. 

These twelve boundaries also correspond to the twelve permuta¬ 
tions of the Tetragrammaion, The permutations beginning with Y 
corresponding to the east; those beginning with the first H, to the 
south; the V. to the west, and the final H, 10 the north, 21 


They extend to eternity of eternities 

The term, “eternity of eternities " which in Hebrew is Adey Ad\ 
has already been discussed (1:5) as denoting a realm beyond space 
and time. The use of the term here would imply that the diagonal 
boundaries actually extend beyond the realm of space and lime. 

Earlier, when the Sefer Yeizirah (4;4) spoke of the six primary 
directions, it did not call them boundaries. The reason why they are 
called “boundaries - * [gevtdim) here is because they arc used in 



206 


SEFER VETZIRAH 


method of meditating on the “boundaries" of space. The initiate 
meditates on the four letters Bet which seal the universe on four 
sides, setting the limits of thought, 2 - He also meditates on the twelve 
permutations of the Tetragrammaton,, which correspond to the 
twelve diagonals. In this manner, he can reach the level where they 
extend to “eternity of eternities.,” beyond the realm of space and 
lime. 

in discussing the twelve diagonals, the Bahir says, "‘On the inside 
of them is the Tree,’" 23 This is the Tree of Life* the array of the Ten 
Sellrot. connected by the 22 letters. The Tree is not inside the twelve 
boundaries from an earthly point of view, since it is external to the 
physical universe. It is only inside these boundaries when viewed 
from the point at infinity, that has been discussed earlier (1:7). It is 
at this point that all the boundaries are unified. 

When a person meditates on the infinity of the diagonal bound¬ 
aries. he is also able to move along the diagonal paths in the Tree of 
Life, This is important, since it is much easier to ascend along the 
diagonals than along the vertical paths. 


Boundaries of ihe Universe 

These boundaries parallel the boundaries of the twelve tribes 
mentioned in Ezekiel 48. Each of these diagonal boundaries relates 
to one of the twelve tribes. 

According to the Talmud, these boundaries correspond to the 
twelve pillars upon which the universe rests.' - This is based on the 
verse, “He stood up the boundaries of the nations, according to the 
number of the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 32:8). The Talmud 
also relates these to the “arms of the uni verse. w 

Instead of “boundaries of the Universe," the Short Version 
reads, “arms of the Universe,*** The obvious allusion is to the verse 
(Deuteronomy 33:26-27): 

There is none tike the God of Jeshurun 

The Rider of the heavens is your Helper 

His pride is in the skies {siiekhokifn). 

A dwelling is the God of eternity 
And below are the Arms of the Universe 
He drives the enemy from before you 
And He said, '‘Destroy!" 

This verse occurs after the blessing of the tribes, where Moses 
blesses the entire nation of Israel 3 * Although the verse is speaking of 


n 


1 rich: 


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Chapter Fm r 


207 


God helping the Israelites in a mundane sense, it also has mystical 
overtones. 

Moses begins by calling God, "'the Rider of the heavens." The word 
“rider,'* rokkw (arm), is closely related to markava (reeno), the mystical 
“chariot " that is the essence of the mystical experience. The concept of 
“riding” involves traveling and leaving one's natural place. 27 When 
Moses say-s that God "rides"' the heavens, St means that He Leaves His 
natural state where He is absolutely unknowable and inconceivable, and 
allows Himself to be visualized in a mystical vision. 

.4s the verse continues, this takes place through the skies known as 
Shekhakim. This term always refers to the two Sefirat, Neizach and 
Hod, which are the Sefiroi involved in prophecy and inspiration. :s 

It then says* *A dwelling {meortah) is the God of eternity.” As 
discussed earlier (1:5), the word ma'on (and me'onah) indicate a level 
above space and time, the “place of the universe.** ^ 

The word for “eternal” hem is Kedem, which usually indicates 
Kcter.** The Hebrew word for Crown, Keter firo) also comes from the 
root Kmar (ttdJ, meaning to “surround It is through the attribute of 
Kcter or Kedem (eternity) that God encompasses all space and time. 

It is bdow this that there exist the "Arms of the Universe,” These 
arc the infinities involving the twelve diagonal boundaries. 

On the highest level, we conceive of God as being totally 
divorced from all space and time. This conception involves a state 
of consciousness that pertains neither to perception nor to 
non percept ion. On a lower level, we see Him as the one who defines 
space and time, as the “Place of the Universe.” This involves a state 
of consciousness perceiving Nothingness. On a still Lower level we 
sec God as being beyond the boundaries of the universe 

Thus, if a person w ishes to experience God, he must begin at the 
lower level and work his way upward. He therefore begins with the 
“arms of the Universe.” contemplating the infinity of space in the 
twelve diagonal boundaries, Only after this can he reach the level of 
"a Dwelling is the God of eternity," where he conceives God as the 
“Place of the Universe." Finally, however he must attain a concep¬ 
tion of God as being totally divorced from space and time. He then 
secs Him as the "Rider of the heavens," who merely uses all depic¬ 
tions as a means through which He can be conceptualized. 

A very important dement in attaining the mystical experience is 
the negation of the self. When a person sees himself as nothing, then 
his self becomes transparent to the Divine, Commenting on the verse, 
“from under the Arms of the Universe.*' the Talmud states that a per¬ 
son must "make himself like he does not exist." 3 * Through contem¬ 
plating the infinities of the universe, one can nullify' the ego, 



SEFER YETZIRAH 


m 


In another very significant leaching, the Talmud states that, 
“The spirit Irunc/r) depends on the stormwind (sa'arah ),,. and the 
siormwEnd hangs from the arms of God.” JJ This is also based on Lhe 
verse. “From under the Arms of the Universe” The stormwind 
(sa'arah), however, was the first manifcstion of EzekieFs vision, as 
he says, "I looked, and behold, a stormwind coming out of the north* 
{Ezekiel U4). u The stormwind relates to the stormy state of con¬ 
sciousness shat precedes the true mystical experience, which is called 
“Spirit* (Ruach), 

The Talmud states that the stale of Sa amh. which is the gateway 
to the mystical experience, depends on she Arms of the Univese. One 
attains this state w hen one meditates on the infinities of the diagonal 
boundaries and the permutations of the Tetragrammaton associated 
with them. 

In the text here, we see that the ordering of the twelve diagonal 
boundaries begins with the east and ends with the north. Since the 
last direction upon which one meditates is the north. Ezekiel saw the 
“stormwind coming from the north." 

The state of “stormwind.’’ as well as the “great cloud, and flash¬ 
ing fire* seen by Ezekiel are the forces of the evil Husks (Klipah), 
which must be breached before one can enter into the mysteries,® 
The passage in Deuteronomy therefore concludes, “He drives the 
enemy from before you,” Since after contemplating the "Arms of the 
Universe,” one encounters the enemy—the Klipah— Moses had to 
promise that God would drive this force away and allow one to enter 
unharmed,* 6 

In the Long Version, the reading here in Sefer Yetzirah is 
"Heights of the Universe,* Some commentaries state that these 
"Heights* are the “Arms of the Universe.” 37 

The term, “Heights of the Universe," occurs three times in scrip¬ 
ture. In Jacob's blessing to Joseph, he grants him, "the desire of the 
Heights of the Universe" (Genesis 49:26). Moses likewise blessed the 
tribe of Joseph with, "the treasure of the Heights of the Universe'’ 
(Deuteronomy 33;ISJ, H 

The 2ohar slates that these Heights are related to the feminine 
principle in creation, especially to the Scfirah of Malkhut.^ It is 
through meditation on the twelve infinite lines of the universe that 
one can enter into Malkhui and begin the climb up the Tree of 
Life. 

The twelve diagonal boundaries are therefore like transmission 
lines, through which creative energy flows into the universe from the 
twelve diagonal paths in the Tree of Life. As such, these infinities are 
the interface between the physical and the transcendental. 



Chatter Live 


m 



,'o 'S /’'d 'n ,’t 'i 7 i niaiB's mpp m 
pom jSpw jsiy pyn ppn pip’ ,'p 'x ‘y 
D>enn ~wy cw oSvya jiiSjo ivy ow ona ijn 

:fI3p21 PSJ3 P1MH TCP DOW TUW3 


Twelve Elemental 

HVZ ChTY LNS OTzQ {pr? mb w nn; 
Their foundation is [that] 

He engraved them, caned them, permuted them, 
weighed them, and transformed them, 

And with them He formed 

twelve constellations in the Universe 
twelve months in the Year 
and twelve directors in the Soul, 
male and female. 



n'tmn w nbe obiys mbro ipp 
h; rwp iipy swtxd nVsro rpnx |tno 

um ^Vr 


Twelve constellations in the Universe: 

Aries (Tick, the Ram) 

Taurus (Shor, the Bull) 

Gemtnt (Teumim, ike Twins) 

Cancer (So rtan. the Crab) 

Leo {An, the Lion) 

Virgo (Betulah, the Virgin) 

Libra (Sfaznayim, the Scales) 

Scorpio (Akrav. the Scorpion} 
Sagittarius {Keshet, the Archer) 
Capricorn (Gedi, the Kid) 
Aquarius {Deli, the Water Drawer) 
Pisces (Dagm, the Fish). 


Copyrighted material 



Tabic 47- Hebrew iunar niomhs and ifoeir correspondences 


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Chapter t'i w 


21 ] 



non ]vv ]u y : o'nn n*xw 

:TI« D31? H30 iVm flOT ’Ttfn bth« 


Twelve months in the year 
Nissan* fyar. St Win, 
Tarrtuz, Av, Eful, 
Tishrei, Cheshvan, Kislev 
Tevei Shevai, Adar. 


The references to the zodiac are shown in Table 47 on page 210, 
Figure 52 shows the zodiac as it appeared in the 1720 edition of 
Tzurat HaAretz. 



n 

j 

u 


Figure 52, The zodiac [from Tzurat HaAretz, 59aT 



212 


SEFER VETZIRAH 



o , t *rw mpji vsn rrvTW nvj? pw 
ppnp 133 ppi ma nvbi 'nv u*m >jw 

sbirm nip 


Twelve directors in the soul 
mate and female, 

The rw» hands, the two feet , 
the t wo fc/dneys, 

(he gall bladder, the intestines, 
the liver ; rte JbriMa^ 
fctart, jJre jp/ren. 


77? t> intestines 

In Hebrew, the word here is Dakkin. This usually denotes the 
small intestine, but it can also include the large intestine or colon. 

In other versions, instead of Dakkin, the Sefer Yetzirah uses the 
term Afassas or Hemsess. Ordinarily in Hebraic literature, this does 
not denote a human organ. The term usually refers to the Omasum 
or manypiies, the third stomach in ruminating (cud-chewing) animals 
such as cattle. 4 ** See figure 53 on page 213. This organ is also called 
the psalterium. since its longitudinal folds arc arranged like the leaves 
in a book. 

According to a number of commentaries, the Massets denotes the 
stomach in man. 41 In a number of places, the mid rash implies that 
the function of the Mma$ is to “grind" food. 4 - 

According to the substitution in the Gra Version here, it would 
appear that the analogue of the Massas in man is the small intestine. 
This is also supported by a number of authorities 43 This would be 
in agreement with the Kabbalists. since according to them, the stom¬ 
ach is the Korkeban. 


The Korkeban 

The term Korkeban is most often used to denote the gizzard in 
fow| r 4J In the Talmud and Midrash, however, this term is occasion¬ 
ally if rarely used to denote a human organ, usually identified with 
the '’grinding of food." 4 * 


Tiqhh 


alerial 



Chapter Five 


213 


Kerej 

Rumen 



\homasum 
4!h ^lomacZi 


Figure 5 J. The four stomachs tti it ruminant. 

The Zohar clearly idemifles the Korkebtm as the stomach, and 
this opinion is shared almost universally by ail later Ksbbalists/ 6 
Other commentaries identify the Korkehan with various different 
internal organs. Some say that it is the esophagus/* Others say that 
it is the small intestine/* Still another opinion has that it h the 
colon/*' Some even! say that it is the appendix. 511 


The Kivah 

The Kivah is also an organ usually associated with animals. In 
ruminants, it is the fourth stomach, known as the maw or abomasum. 
In calves, it is also known as the rennet bag, since it contains the 



214 


SE.FER YETZ1RAH 


rennet making glands,* 1 According to some commentaries, the Kiva 
is the stomach. 52 Others identify it with the intestine. 51 Another opin* 
ion has that it is the colon. M 

In animals, the Kiva was part of the offering given to priests, 
as the Torah states, “They shall give to the priest the shoulder, 
the two cheeks, and the Kiva* (Deuteronomy 3 B:3), Maimonides 
states that the reason for this is because the Kivah is the first 
among the digestive organs, and this opinion is echoed by the 
Kabbahsts." According to this, the analogue in mart would be the 
esophagus. 

The Talmud and Zohar, however, apparently teach that the main 
function of the Ivah in man is to induce sleeps This is also reflected 
in Scfer Yelzirah (5:9), This would indicate an organ of glandular 
nature, possibly the pancreas. Significantly, an early Mid rash attri¬ 
butes to the Kim . a “sleep of sweetness."* 7 

One reason why the Kiva might be associated with sleep is 
because in animals it is the organ that digests milk. The human ana¬ 
logue may also be associated with milk, and milk is known to induce 
sleep. SB The Talmud also stales that in general, eating brings on 
sleep,** 

It is also possible that the Korkeban and Kiva are not human 
organs at all. This would mean that use is made of them only when 
the Sefer Yctzirah is used with relation to animals and birds, By mak¬ 
ing use of these organs, one may create an animal or bird rather than 
a human. This might have been the technique that the Talmudic 
sages used to create a prime calf. 



“irpi nrwa Tr jrt k "pSon 

dyy2 rhv um Tan no rrr fmyi im iS 

:7\jpy\ 13? SF3J3 ^Ti HJV3 

m3 h i»pi -wnaa t rm i*Son 
ram oSnja w om -iyi nn nr jmvi 

1 "13? fW K*Vl31 
ms n? |B"nn m3 h tpct "jiSra *i ™ yHnn 
bnuv Sjti 7uvi [TDi oSiyi am ir\ 

taapji mr wm 



n 



Chapter five 


215 


He made the tetter Heh (n) king over speech 
and He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Aries in the Universe 
Nissan in the Year 
And the right foot in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter I av ft) king over thought 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Taurus in the Universe 
lyar in the Year 

And the right kidney in the Sou! 
male and female 

He made the letter Zayin ft) king over motion 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Gemini in the Universe 
Sivan in the Year 
And the left fool in the Soitl 
male and female. 



“«ppi rm"o 'n rm “pSan 
ompn fene ona ^ nra m jinan ttd 'h 
biapn run pa* *n tom nam 
|D"wi iro h "nppi rijra^n 'o jiik "|^on 
tt'hw mv ?2 3m rfrija nni* unj un rrra nr 
I *bm ~o\ znns ry'bmv 

ian ma nt fsnsi "ina h irpi rwynn ** rm 

V*rt3 T 1 7UV2 Sn«T 0^2 nVj"a U12 

inapn "dt 


Copyrighted material 



236 


HF^E-K YET ZI RAH 


He made ihe letter Chet fn) king over sight 
And He bound a crown to it 
A nd He combined me with another 
And with them He formed 
Cancer in the Universe 
Tamuz in the Year 
And the right hand in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter Tet (is) king over hearing 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Leo in the Universe 
Av in the Year 

And the left kidney in the Soul 
male and female 

He made the letter Yud L) king over action 
And He hound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Virgo in the Universe 
Elul in the Year 
And the left hand in the Soul 
male and female. 


5 m Q n^pi vmtnj. 'b nw ybun 

m ¥ oSlJ?3 D’JWQ tiro T]fl HtD Ht flPYl TTO lS 

HT£31 TOM 

jsnn thd n *wp 'i mi 'i mtt ybnn 

ffim iW3 pvn\ oSiys jipy oni tyi nu m 

nw :njpn -or ^2333 

nup oni tyi nn rr? jtoi Tni h ‘ivp) rwm *x> 

nnpn -ot run mpi sbiyi 



Chapter Five 


111 


He made the letter Lamed ft) king over coition 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Libra in the Universe 
Tishrei in the Year 
And the gall bladder in the soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter Sun (y king over smell 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Scorpio in the Universe 
Cheshvan in the Year 
And the intestine in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter Samekh fc) king over sleep. 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Sagittarius in the Universe 
Kislev in the Year 
,4 nd the Kivah tn the Soul 
male and female. 


5:10 


iwpi ram y nw "pSan 

dnyz ni oro un its nt pun ins iS 

frOOTI *TDt VDH 1331 nJP3 fl3ffl 

pnon ins r? i wp\ msyhn y nw "pban 
ppnpi nwi B 3 Wi thyi 'Si cm 7$} m 3 nt 
71 TK l^Sart :H 3 pjl 1 ST ^ 5 J 3 

tm ana iyi its nr pun ins iS uppi pms 'p 

ftWS? *13pj1 13t tf3J3 htflLTi SW3 TWl oS>)?3 

:nmSo poo piy non pas pug rrsnp pas 


riohte 



21% 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


He made the letter Eyin (y) king over anger 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Capricorn in the Universe 
Tevet in the Year 
And the liver in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter Tidi ft} king over taste 
And He bound a crown to it 
and He combined one with another 
And with them He formed 
Aquarius in the Universe 
Shevat in the Year 
And the Korkeban in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made the letter Kuf (p) king over laughter 
And He bound a crown to it 
And He combined one with another 
And wiVA them He formed 
Pisces in the Universe 
Adar in the Year 
And the spleen in the Soul 
male and female. 

He made them like a trough 
He arranged them like a wall 
He set them up like a battle . 


There are several variant readings found in the different versions and 
Commentaries. The major ones are given in Table 48 on page 219. 

In this version, the Kivah is associated with sleep, the liver with 
anger, and the spleen with laughter. The same association is found 
in the Talmud.. 60 

Here we see that the signs of the zodiac are associated with the 
twelve Hebrew lunar months, rather than with the position of the 
Sun, as in Western astrology. The assignment here approximates that 
of Western astrology* but is more accurate from a Kabbahste 
viewpoint. 

If one wishes to attain a deep understanding of the significance 
of the astrological signs, one must con template the patterns of stars 
that form each one. As one gazes at these stellar arrays* not only does 




Chapter Fbi 


219 


Table 4S. Various versions of the meaning of the signs. 




Gra 

Short 1 

Long- 1 

Saadin* 

Ramak 4 

n 

Nissan 

Aries 

speech 

R. foot 

[sight] 

R. hand 

speech 

liver 

sight 

liver 

sight 

R.hand 

> 

tyar 

Taurus 

thought 

K, kidney 

[hearing] 

L, hand 

thought 

gall 

hearing 

gall 

hearing 

L hand 

t 

Si van 

Gemini 

motion 

L. foot 

[smelt] 

R. Foot 

motion 

spleen 

smell 

spleen 

speech 

R. foot 

n 

Tamil* 

Cancer 

sight 

R. hand 

| speech] 

U foot 

sight 

masses 

speech 

massas 

taste 

L, foot 

□ 

Av 

Leo 

hearing 

L. kidney 

flaste] 

R. kidney 

hearing 

R. kidney 

taste 

R kidney 

anger 

R r kidney 

¥ 

El Ell 

Virgo 

action 

L. hand 

[coition] 

L. kidney 

action 

L. kidney 

action 

L. kidney 

motion 

L. kidney 

s 

Tishrei 

Libra 

COHion 

gall 

[action] 

liver 

coition 

korkeban 

coition 

korkeban 

laughter 

liver 

3 

Chnhvai! 

Scorpio 

smell 

intestine 

[morion] 

spleen 

smell 

kivah 

morion 

kivah 

thought 

spleen 

D 

Kislev 

Sag it tarsus 

sleep 

kivah 

langer] 

gal] 

sleep 

R, hand 

anger 

R, hand 

coition 

gall 

P 

Tevet 

Capricorn 

anger 

liver 

[laughter] 

massas 

anger 

L. hand 

laughter 

L. hand 

sleep 

tnassas 

Y 

Shtval 

Aquarius 

taste 

korkeban 

[thought] 

kivah 

taste 

R. foot 

thought 

R. Foot 

smell 

kivah 

P 

Adar 

Pisces 

laughter 

spleen 

[sleep] 

korkeban 

laughter 

L. Fool 

sleep 

L. foot 

action 

korkeban 


1 The I rails arc noi listed explicitly in the Short Version, but are gtven by the 
Rjavad. Thm ordering, however, it found in 5iL Don*th h» a simihr ordering, 
but he interchange*, liver and spleen, sight and bearing, toinon and taste, 

4:25 aEso use* this ordering, but instead of '‘anger, laughter, thought.” he has, 
“thought, anger, laughter" 

J This ordering is also used by Ramak in Ftltdei Rimonim 21:16. 

J Saadu 8:3 Also sec 1:3. 6:5-1 5, Saadia B. here. This same ordering is found in the 
Long Version in the recap, 3:21, indicating that it was added from Saadia This 
ordering was also used by Chakamom 73a, Rabbi LLiezar Rokcach EOb, and by 
ft abb i Yosef Tzayach in .SAf/r/f Km#/ 10a. E la. and Tinwur tl&Chaim J4b. 

4 Shiur Komak 15 (Adam), pp. 29a. b, 


Copyrighted material 




220 


5EFEH YETZ1RAK 


Tabic 44, Signs and planets of the zodiac. 


Zodiac Influences 

Planetary Influences 

Remainder 

Sign 

Remainder 

Planet 

0 

Cancer 

0 

Mercury 

1 

Leo 

I 

Moon 

2 

Virgo 

2 

Saturn 

3 

Aries 

3 

Jupiter 

4 

Taurus 

4 

Mars 

5 

Gemini 

5 

Sun 

6 

Libra 

6 

Venus 

7 

Scorpio 



8 

Sagittarius 



9 

Capricorn 



10 

Aqua mis 



II 

Pisces 




the picture of the sign emerge, but one also gains insight into its inner 
essence. 

In gen era I, it was forbidden to actually draw pictures of the fig¬ 
ures represented by the astrological signs. 61 In ancient limes, the mak¬ 
ing of such pictures actually led to the worship of these signs as 
gods, 63 To draw the stars alone, or even to connect them with lines 
so as to make their patterns recognizable, however, is permitted. 63 

For the purpose of contemplation, the pictures and diagrams 
found in most astrological lexis are next to useless. Instead, we must 
turn to the writings of the ancients. One of the best descriptions of 
the constellations, dating from the second century, is found in 
Ptolemy’s Almagest and this is quoted in ancient Hebrew manu¬ 
scripts, M \ have used Ptolemy’s tables in constructing the diagrams 
of the constellations. 


He made them like a trough 

The const citations are said to be like a trough because they chan¬ 
nel spiritual sustenance down to the physical world. The months are 
like a wall. The parts of the body are involved in a constant slate of 
war, as discussed later (6:3L 6i 

Besides his lime of birth, a person’s name also plays an impor¬ 
tant role in determining astrological signs. In order to determine this 


Tiqhh 




Chapter 


221 


influence. one must write the person’s name and the name of his 
mother in Hebrew characters. The letters must then be added up, so 
as to determine ihe numerical value of tooth names, 66 

To determine the sign of the zodiac one must cast off twelves* 
and take the remainder. That is, one musi divide the above sum by 
twelve, and determine the remainder. This is used to determine the 
sign of the zodiac.* 7 

To determine the planetar* influence, one must cast off sevens. 
Like before, one must divide by seven, and retain only the remainder. 
This is used to determine the appropriate planet. Note that in the 
table, the order of the planets is that of Saturday night. In Hebrew 
reckoning, this is the beginning of the first day of the week, and 
hence, the first period of creation. 

This method can more easily be understood if we lake an exam¬ 
ple. Assume that a person's name is Abraham (ieton) and his 
mothers name is Sarah frrrr). Making use of the numerical value for 
each letter, we see that Abraham has a numerical value of 248 T while 
that for Sarah is 505. Adding the two together, the final sum is 
753, 

To determine the sign of the zodiac, we must divide by twelve, 
yielding 62, with a remainder of nine. Consulting Table 49 on page 
220, we find that the appropriate sign is Capricorn. 

Similarly, to determine the planet, we divide 753 by seven. The 
quotient is 107, with a remainder of four. We thus find that Mars 
will exert a strong influence on a person named Abraham, who is the 
son of Sarah. 

Also important are ihc 28 “camps” of the Divine Presence, corre¬ 
sponding to the 28 days of the lunar month. 61 The length of the lunar 
month is 29 days, 12 hours, 2643 seconds (29,53059 days)** 1 This is 
the period during which ihe Moon goes through all of its phases. 

Besides this, there is also the sidereal month, the time during 
which the Moon passes through all twelve signs of the zodiac, This 
period is 27 days, 6 hours, 780 seconds (27.25902 days). This is the 
period during which the Moon revolves around the earth, and returns 
to its original position with regard to a fixed siar. 

The lunar month is longer than ihe sidereal month* The reason 
for this is because, in order io complete a lunar month* the Moon 
must not only pass through the twelve signs of the zodiac* but it must 
also occupy its previous position in relation to the Sun. During this 
month, however* the Sun itself has advanced through the zodiac The 
lunar month is therefore longer than the sidereal month by a factor 
of one iweifih. The Moon therefore p;i\ses through each of the twelve 
signs of the zodiac in 2 days. 6 hours. 1865 seconds (2.271585 

days). 



222 


SEFER YETZIRAtt 


Table 50. The 3K times of Ecclesiastes 13:2-8). 


A time to be born 

and a time to die. 

A time to plant 

and a time to uproot. 

A time to kill 

and a lime to heal 

A lime to wreck 

and a time to build. 

A time to weep 

and a lime to laugh* 

A time of mourning 

and a time of dancing. 

A time to throw stones 

and a time to hoard stones. 

A time to embrace 

and a time to shun. 

A lime to seek 

and a time to lose. 

A time to safeguard 

and a time to discard. 

A time to tear 

and a time to sew. 

A time to be still 

and a time to speak. 

A time to love 

and a time to hate. 

A time of war 

and a time of peace. 


Table 51. The 2H time*. and (heir assoe iaieO qualities, 

L A time to be bom (seed) 2. a time to die (desolation) 

3. A time to plant (seed) 4. a time to uproot 

(desolation) 

5, A time to kill (death) 6, a time to heal (life) 

7. A time to wreck (death) 8, a time to build (life) 

9. A time to throw stones 

(poverty) 10. a time to hoard stones 

(wealth) 

1 L A time to lose (poverty) 12, a time to seek (wealth) 

13* A time to embrace (grace) 14. a time to shun (ugliness) 

15, A time to safeguard (grace) 16, a time to discard 

(ugliness) 

17* A time to be still (wisdom) 18. a time to speak 

(foolishness) 

19, A time to sew (wisdom) 20. a time to tear 

(foolishness) 

21* A time of war (war) 22. a time of peace (peace) 

23. A time to hate (war) 24. a time to love (peace) 

25* A time of mourning 

(subjugation) 26. a time of dancing 

(dominance) 

27 r A time to weep (subjugation) 28. a time to laugh 

(dominance) 








Chapter t'i ve 


223 


Besides the 38 lunar days* the sidereal month can also be divided 
into 28 equal parts. Each one of these parts is one of the Moon's 
**campsT The moon passes through each of its camps in 23 hours* 
1310 seconds. 

The 28 camps parallel the 28 "times*" mentioned in Ecclesias¬ 
tes,™ See Tables 50 and 51 on page 222. These are related to the 
seven qualities corresponding to the seven Doubles* as discussed 
above (4:2-3). See Table 52 on page 224. 

The 28 camps are associated with the twelve signs of the zodiac 
through the 42 Letter Name, given above (4:14). See Table 53 on 
page 224. This name is combined with the leuers of the Tttragram- 
maton in the manner shown in figure 54 on page 225. This yields a 
total of 168 letters* or six for each of the 28 camps. 

The 168 letters can also be divided into twelve groups, each con¬ 
sisting of 14 letters. Each of these groups then corresponds to a spe¬ 
cific sign of the zodiac, as given in Table 54 on page 225. It is these 
letters that are dominant as the Moon passes through each of the 
twelve signs. 

Also associated with each of the twelve signs is a permutation of 
the names YHVH and Adonoy C'nw), By meditating on these combi¬ 
nations* as well as the derivatives of the 42 Letter Name, one can 
gam knowledge of things that will happen in the designated times. 
See figure 55 on page 226. 

The 28 "times" of Ecclesiastes can be divided into two groups 
of 14. One group consists of the good times, while the other consists 
of the evil times* The 14 good times are said to come from the 14 
letters of YHVH Elohenu YHVH: 

YHVH ELHYNU YHVH nrr w*n mm 

One then takes the letter, which in the alphabet comes after each 
of these 14. This yields the letters* 1 

KUZU BMUKSZ KUZU no tppioa m3 

The 14 evil times are said to originate from these 14 letters. 
These 28 letters can therefore be used to transmit the appropriate 
concepts. 

There ts another system that also provides insight into each hour 
of the day* As discussed earlier (2:5), when various letters are com¬ 
bined with the Tctragrammaton, five vowels are used. When one 
wishes to make such a combination relating to the hours of the day, 
however* one must add a sixth vowel* the Shva (i)2 J The array associ¬ 
ated with each letter of the Tetragrammaton then consist; of 36 
elements. 



214 


3EFER VrrZIRAH 


Table 32. The 2S limes and the 14 letters of [he three names. 
YHVH Elohenu YHVM. 


Seed 

* 

Y 

to be bom 

0 

K 

to die 


n 

H 

to plant 

\ 

u 

to uproot 

Life 


V 

to heal 

t 

Z 

to kill 


a 

H 

to build 

l 

u 

to wreck 

Wealth 

K 

E 

to hoard stones 

3 

B 

to throw stones 


S 

L 

to seek 

0 

M 

to lose 

Grace 

n 

H 

to embrace 

1 

U 

to shun 



Y 

to safeguard 

3 

K 

to discard 

Wisdom 

3 

N 

to be still 

C 

S 

to speak 


\ 

U 

to sew 

t 

Z 

to tear 

Peace 

« 

Y 

of peace 

35 

K 

of war 


n 

H 

to love 

y 

U 

to hate 

Dominance 

i 

V 

of dancing. 

i 

z 

of mourning 


n 

H 

to laugh 

i 

u 

to weep 


Table 53. The 2H camps of the divine presence tTbe 42 letter name 
combined with the letters YHV). 


L 

V A HV v H 

2. 

HV Y G HV 

TT i * n 

3 * *VK * 

3. 

v Yhv VT 

4. 

HV Y TZ HV 

ti 3f o m 

71 1 Vt * * 

5. 

v K hv v R 

6. 

HV Y O HV 

m p • n 

I’tlj? * 

7. 

Y S H HV V T 

8. 

HV Y N HV 

tt 3 1 TT 

0 * ¥1 P * 

9, 

Y N HV Y G 

10. 

HV Y D HV 

n *1 * rt 

j*ti i* 

IL 

yYhvvKh 

12. 

HV YSH HV 

X\ t? * tt 


13. 

Y B HV Y T 

14. 

HV Y R HV 

tiVtl 

a 1 m n 1 

15. 

Y Tz HV v Th 

16, 

HV V G HV 

in l * rr 

ji 1 n t * 

17. 

y Ch HV v K 

18. 

HV Y B HV 

m 3 * n 

P» m n * 

U9. 

Y T HV V N 

20. 

HV Y O HV 

t\ y * n 

J * ti D » 

21. 

Y Y HV vG 

22. 

HV Y L HV 

in H * tn 

3 * n * * 

23. 

Y ? HV Y Z 

24. 

HV Y K HV 

m p»vi 

t 1 in 5 » 

25. 

Y Sh HV Y K 

26. 

HV Y V HV 

n i 1 in 


27. 

Y Tz HV Y Y 

28. 

HV Y TH HV 

yt ri * in 

1 * n 2f * 


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Chapter Fhe 


225 



Tabic 54. The 28 camps divided among the 12 consldlatnins. 


Aries 

v A hvvBhvyG hv v Y 

* 1 pi } in 2 > rt j?e 


Taurus 

HV Y TH HV V TZ HV Y K HV 

rr p * n y * rr n 

* in 1 

Gemini 

yRhvyEhwSh hv y T 

tt * m V * n Jr * n “f 


Cancer 

hv Y N HV Y N HV Y G HV 

n 3 * ft } ' m 3 

* rr 

Leo 

y D hv Y Y hv Y Kh h v y Sh 

r t tr3*irs’ , m 


Virgo 

HV >■ B H V Y T HV Y R HV 

in *i»in a 1 m 3 

* 171 

Libra 

yTzhvyTh HV yGhvyCk 

n ♦ rr * * in n * n ¥ 


Scorpio 

HV Y K HV v S HV Y T HV 

vy D* n 3 1 w p 

* m 

Sagittarius 

¥ N HV Y O H v Y Y HV V G 

i * rr 1 * tts y * rr l 


Capricorn 

HV Y L HV Y P HV y Z HV 

irt t 1 ti s 1 ti S 

»in 

Aquarius 

Y K HV Y Sh hv y K hv Y V 

Unp'^nftnp 


Pisces 

HV YTZHVY Y HV Y TH HV 

nrr ft * in * ■■ rr V 

* 171 




22i> 


SEFEfc VETZ1RAH 


C*'P 

F'w i*)'h frb 
D'siKn 

fopp > N *p i/t? 
to to 

TW 

to: ''Pfc 1 

9*1?' > u '7fi to 

r6o 

P*TP B w 'p 3"'P 
to to' 

r6ina 

cto :>to' tor 

fto 3*^7 

nns 

top to )*t 
! b*9 

|tra j 

to '"TO XFW 

tol b*Vl Vb'7 
r^p 

3to p**p 
? D : n to> fto 

yyv 

fto to ctoV 
tol 7*»fe) '“7k 

D'StoO 

l\n rto to Sto 
'*PO Ito 7*6;’ 
mi 

to jto cto p"’ 
>'bi' fto 

top -to to 
T'sfr to 1 

1 HJ 


Figure 55. The 2H camps divided among the rn’etve constellations. 
Includes permutations of YHVH and Adas (From Raavml, p. 20b). 



Figure 56. The ChflJakim in on hour when they pertain t^^ night hours. 




Chapter f-'iw 


121 



Figure 57. Aief combined with the tenets of the Tetragrammattm 
through six vowels. 

Both in the Talmud and in Kabbalah, the normative division of 
the hour is into Chalakim, with IQSG Chalakim making an hour* 

Thus, there are IS Chalakim to a minute. 

The duration of each letter, expressed in Chalakim, is taken as 
being equal to its numerical value. Thus. Akf {*) is one CheteK Yud 
(i) is ten, Heh (IT) is five, and Vav (?) is six. 

In the array* the Yud and Alef together add up to eleven* Since 
there are 56 elements in the array, its total numerical value is 36 x 
] I. or 396. Proceeding in the same manner with each of the four 
squares, the values obtained are 396* 216, 252, and 2 16. The total of 
all these is 1080. This is exactly the number of Chalakim in an hour. 

See figure 56 on page 226. Each of these combinations therefore per¬ 
tains to a precise period in the hour. See figure 57, 

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22$ 


SEFER YETZERAH 


There are. however, iwdve permutations of the Tetragramma- 
ton. These can either pertain to the twelve hours of the day. or to the 
twelve hours of the night. 

When the Akf precedes the letters of the Name, as in figure 56. 
these permutations pertain to the twelve hours of the night. When 
the letters of the Name precede the Alef they represent the twelve 
hours of the day. 


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CHAPTER SIX 


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Chitprrr Six 


m 



i«sn jitoet frbr on bn 

0*0 tik am mn« rwhv ann 

Brmn'nm mat, rwbv ,nnVin ma^ai m 

*Suj ivy o*wi omjiwa^ o^sis rrpatfi 

*? *jj rw obiya o*3onj any "mb mtn .jiwbK 

bibn 'bra pps <wbvt rrjj^^'t pn -roy dwi 



Tfcese are the Three Mothers A MSh (vox). 

And from them emanated Three Fathers, 
and they are air, water, and fire. 

and from the Fathers, dependents. 

Three Fathers and their descendents. 

And seven planets and their hosts. 

And twelve diagonal boundaries 
A proof of this 

true witnesses in the Universe. Year, Soul 
and a rule of twelve 
and seven and three . 

He set them in the 7eli, the Cycle, and the Heart. 


From them emanated three Fathers 

This is the same as 3:2, except that here the Fathers ^emanate." 
while above, they were **bom7 

From the Mothers, AMSh, emanated the concept of thesis, 
antithesis, and synthesis, as discussed earlier. These are the Fathers, 
represented by fire, water* and air. From this triad comes the three 
columns of the SefiroL and from them, all the rest of creation. 


The Teli 

This is one of the most mysterious words in the Sefcr Yetzirah, 
The term occurs neither in the Bible nor in the Talmud, and there is 
considerable discussion as to its meaning, 1 



m 


SEFER YETZ1RAH 



Figure The consfettfftiv/ft of Draco ami Ursa Minor taci'ortling 
to Ptolemy}, 


The only place where we find a similar word is in a single refer’ 
ente to a weapon, where Jacob told Esau, “Take your instruments* 
your Tvh and your bow*’ (Genesis 27:3). Some commentaries inter’ 
pret the Teh here to be a kind of sword, and it is given this name 
because it hangs {talah) from one's side. 2 Others say that il is a 
quiver, in which the arrows are piled (tatai),* 

The term, however, appears more suggestive of a kind of bola. 
This is a line with a bah at the end, used to ensnare animals. It would 
be called a ZfeW because the ball hangs [talah] from the line. This is 
also supported by the fact that the scripture clearly states that Esau 
was to trap {rzad} an animal 

According to many kab bit lists, the Tdi mentioned here tn Sefer 
Yetzirah is the imaginary' axis around which the heavens rotate. 4 It 
is seen as an imaginary line from which the celestial sphere hangs. 


'iiqhie 



Chapter Sbt 


2tt 



Figure 59. Draco, (Bared on a Nth century Hebraic manuscript}. 

very much tike a bala from its line. According to this, the word Teli 
phfO comes from the root Taiah {n^n), meaning “to hang/ 15 

Many authorities identify the Teli with the “Pole Serpent" 
(Nachash Bareach}, mentioned in the verse, “By His spirit, the heav¬ 
ens were calmed. His hand has pierced the Pole Serpent*’ (Job 
26:13>.* Tt is also mentioned in the verse, "On that day, with His 
great, harsh sword. God will visit and overcome the Leviathan, the 
Pole Serpent, and the Leviathan, the Coiled Serpents and He win kill 
the dragon of the sea" (Isaiah 27:1). 

This Pole Serpent, which is identified with the Leviathan, may 
then be seen as an imaginary creature from which the earth hangs. 
Thus, in an ancient mystical Mid rash, we find that the world “hangs 
from a fin of the Leviathan." 7 

The Pole Serpent is often associated with the constellation of 
Draco.* This is not surprising, since Draco is very dose to the North 
Pole. Indeed, around 4500 years ago, Thuban. a star in Draco’s tail, 
was the pole star. 

There are, however, two imaginary poles in the sky. The first is 
the celestial pole, which is directly above the earth’s north pole, The 
second is know n as the ecliptic pole. This is the pole of the sphere of 
which the ecliptic is the equator. 



5EFER YETZ1RAH 


2U 



Figure 60 The Teh as the obliquity between equator anti ecliptic. 

The ecliptic is the great circle of the celestial sphere traced by 
the plane of the earth’s orbit around the sun. If we view the sun and 
stars as revolving around the earth, we will notice that in the course 
of the year* at a gi^en time each day + the sun will occupy a slightly 
different position in relation to the constellations and other stars. In 
this perspective, the ecliptic is the annual path of the sun moving 
from west to east through the heavens.* 

In describing the positions of the starv the ancients made use of 
the ecliptic pole, rather than the celestial pole. In this system* we find 
that the constellation of Draco actually surrounds Ihe ecliptic pole. 
It also has stars in the sections of all the signs of the zodiac. Ifl It is 
therefore literally the Pole Serpent, since it is the serpent that sur¬ 
rounds the ecliptic pole. See figures 58 and 59 on pages 232 and 233. 

Since the Pole Serpent has stars in all the houses of the zodiac, 
it is also seen as supporting them alU' It is as if Draco was at the 
top of the celestial sphere, and all the other stars were hanging from 
it. As such, Draco is seen as the overseer and director of all the other 
stars. Draco is therefore associated with the Tdi, which, as the Sefer 
Yctzirah states (6:3f is “over the Universe like a king on his throne." 
It is called the Teli because all the other constellations hang { talah ) 
from it. 

In ancient limes, the Teii r in the fann of Draco, was worshipped 
as an idolatrous deityJ 2 Rabbi Isaac of Acco also identifies it with 
the idol Baal, mentioned in the Bible, IJ 

Mans philosophical commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah, as well as 
astronomical texts, interpret the leii as being the inch nation between 
two celestial planes. 1 * In modern astronomy, this is usually called the 
obliquity, and it usually denotes the inclination separating the eclip¬ 
tic and the celestial equator, which is the imaginary circle above the 
carth T s equator, as shown in figure 60. In this sense, the Teh is also 



Chapter Su e 


235 


efal »» 



Figured!. TjftrTefi as it appears in Commentary of Rabbi Eiiezfr 
Ruki'iti h qf Wormes, /j. f2b. 

often referred lo as a dragon or fish. See figure 61. This is because it 
has the shape of a fish, wide in the center, and coming to a point at 
both ends. 1 * 

Hebrew astronomers also used the term Teti to denote the incli¬ 
nation of the orbit of a planet from the ecliptic,, particularly in the 
ease of the moon, 1 * 

There are two points where the orbit of a planet intersect the 
plane of the ecliptic. The point through which the planet passes from 
the south of the ecliptic plane to the north is called the ascending 
node, while the other point is known as the descending node. In 
medieval astronomy, the ascending node was often called the 
'‘dragon’s head, 4 * while the descending node was referred to as the 
“dragon's tail/ With regard to the intersection points of the equator 
and the ecliptic, these are the two equinoxes. See figure 62 on page 
236. The vernal (spring) equinox is the head, while the autumnal 
equinox is the tail of the dragon. 


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2M 


SEFfcR YETZtRAH 


Nodes 



Figure 62. The Tdi as the fndmatim of the orbit of a plane; from fhc 
ecliptic. 

The “dragon," whose head and tail form the two nodes, is then 
identified as the Teii. Most early Hebrew writers refer to it by its 
Arabic name, Al Jaz'har. n Juz'har is a Persian word, meaning "knot” 
or “node," 

Rabbi Abraham AbuJafia also identifies the Tcti with the celes¬ 
tial *’knots” {Kesharim).^ He writes that the head of the Teh denotes 
merit, while its tail signifies liability,* 9 

Especially important are the lunar nodes, since it is only at these 
points that an eclipse, either of the sun or the moon, can occur, 25 The 
Tcli can then be seen as the imaginary dragon swallowing the sun or 
moon. 

Although the obliquity is often referred to as the Tdi, it is ques* 
lionabte if this is the Tdi mentioned here by the Safer YeUrirah. 

There is also a tradition that there are two Tel is or dragons, one 
male and the other female. These are identified as the two Levia¬ 
thans. and are mentioned in the account of creation, "God created 
the great dragons” (Genesis 1:2Ijl 2L According to the Talmud, the 
Pole Serpent mentioned by Isaiah is the male dragon, while the 
Coiled Serpent {Nachash Akalkaton) is the female. 12 Some Kabbalists 
state that the constellation of Draco is the male Pole Serpent, while 
the inclination of the ecliptic is the female Coiled Serpent, 21 The 
female therefore encompasses the male, this being the mystery of T “a 
female shall surround a male* (Jeremiah 31 :22f 2 * 

Other commentaries identify the Tdi with the Milky Way, and 
say that this is the Pole Serpent. 21 According to this, the Teli would 
be the axis of the galaxy, rather than that of the celestial sphere. In 
the Book ofRaziei however, it appears that the Milky Way is called 
the River Dinar, mentioned in Daniel, and not the TelL w 

Another important opinion is that of the practical Kabbalists, 
They write that Tdi is actually a place tinder the firmament of Vilon, 




Chapter Six 




and that it is inhabited by humanoid beings, which deport themselves 
in holiness and purity like angels. The divine mysteries are revealed 
to these beings, and they have the authority to reveal these things to 
mortal humans* Methods are also given whereby these beings can be 
contacted*- 7 

While adhering to the view that the Teli is the segment between 
the ascending and descending nodes. Rabbi Judah HaLevi 
(1068*1118) also writes that the Teli alludes to the spiritual world* 
and to hidden mysteries which cannot be grasped. 2 * Rabbi Abraham 
Abulafia similarly writes that the ■"knots' 7 of the Tdi arc “knots 77 of 
love and mystical union. 2 * 

The nodes of the Teli are the points where two divergent orbits 
meet. The physical and spiritual worlds can also be looked upon as 



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Figure 63. The zodiac. (from Maasch Toviah. /»* 44kt). 







2M 


SEFFR VETZIRAH 


two divergent orbits. The Tdi would then represent the nodes where 
the physical and spiritual meet. 

This picture is clarified through a Talmudic example. The Talmud 
presents a picture where,, "the storm wind hangs (tctoh) between the 
two arms of God li ke an amulet 1 This "hanging" can be identified 
with the Teh. As discussed earlier, the "storm wind" (sa'arak) refers to 
the initiation into the prophetic or mystical experience.* 1 The two 
nodes of the Teli are the spiritual points from which this "amulet" 
hangs. The Talmud furthermore slates that the ‘’arms" from which it 
hangs are the "arms of the universe." As discussed earlier, the "arms 
of the universe" denotes the twelve diagonal boundaries (5:2). 

One of the most significant interpretations es that of the Babir, 
The Bahir states: "What is the Tdi? It is the likeness before the 
Blessed Holy One. it is thus written, ‘His locks arc hanging (takaRmY 
(Song of Songs 5:1 l) 

The link with this biblical verse is highly significant. In its 
entirety, the verse reads. "His head is a treasure of fine gold. His 
locks are hanging, black tike a raven,* 

In both Talmudic and Kabbahslic traditions, this verse has two 
interpretations. First, it relates to a vision of God, indicating that 
when He is visualized in battle. He is seen a young man with black 
hair. 31 The Kabbah sis say that this is Zer Anpin (Small Face, 
MicroprosopusK the personification of the six Sefirot from Chosed to 
Yesod* 

The second imeTpretaiion relates this verse to the Torah. The 
Talmud states that the hanging tor piled) hair relates to the fact that 
every letter of the Torah contains "piles and piles" (7 eii tela'im) of 
wisdom . n Besides this, the hanging hairs arc said lo relate to the lines 
upon which the letters of the Torah are written.*’ 

The Torah which is spoken of here is not the ordinary wri tten 
Torah, but the primeval Torah, which was written "with black fire 
on white fire" >7 According to many Kabba lists, this primeval Torah 
in itself is identified with Zer Anpin, 

Jn this picture, each letter of the Torah is seen as a hair in the 
beard of Zer Anpin. These are not seen as simple hairs, but as chan¬ 
nels. through which God's wisdom emanates from His “head." The 
"head” is the concealed wisdom of God, while the letters are its out¬ 
ward revelation,^ The portion of God's wisdom that we can compre¬ 
hend bears the same relationship to His true wisdom that the hair 
does to the brain. The brain is the center of all thought, while the 
hair is essentially dead. There is a world of difference between the 
two, yet all that we can comprehend is the "hair." 

The verse says, “His head is a treasure of fine gold,” This refers 
to the unknowable divine Intellect. Since all that we can comprehend 




Chapter Si .t 


239 

is a "hair,' 1 the verse continues, "His locks are hanging (piled), black 
like a raven.* 1 Even these hairs contain "piles and piles** {t&H teia im) 
of wisdom. Still, it is “black like a raven." Even these "hairs 1 ’ are 
black and incomprehensible. Each of these hairs corresponds to a 
"point* - in the letters of the Torah. M Each letter contains "piles and 
piles 1 ’ of w isdom. 

These tahaiim, which mean "hangings" or "piles. 11 thus refer to 
the divine wisdom that is revealed. According to the Midrash, how¬ 
ever, they do not refer to the letters themselves, but to the lines 
(j irtuf} upon which they are written. When one writes a physical 
Torah, one must first draw lines upon which to write the letters. 
These tines are not actually drawn with ink. but are merely impressed 
into the parchment with a sharp instrument. These almost invisible 
lines represent the "hanging** of the hair, the link between the tetter 
and its spiritual root. 

From each hair in the divine beard of Zer Anptn there hangs a 
universe. Each of these universes is also related to a letter in the 
Torah. 40 According to this, the Teli denotes the “hair** in the divine 
beard from which our universe “hangs," This is the axis around 
which the universe revolves. 

The Teli also relates to the meditation on a letter. In this medita¬ 
tion, one pictures the letters as written with black fire on white fire. 
One contemplates the letter, concentrating on the near invisible line 
upon which it is drawn. This line is seen as a hair in the divine beard* 
from which the universe hangs. 

The scripture calls the "hangings" of the divine beard Taltoltm. 
The Zohar relates this to the word Talpiat, which, as the Talmud 
Leaches, is the "hill (tell) to which ail mouths (piot) turn. 11 * 1 This "hUT 
is the mount upon which the Temple was built, which Jacob called 
the “gale of heaven" (Genesis 20:17)/* This Tatpiof is the tangible 
link between the physical and the spiritual. According to the 
Kabbalists, the same holds true of the Teli/ 5 


The Cycle 

The Hebrew word for cycle here is GalgaL In a number of places 
in the Talmud, this word is also used to denote the cycle of events 
in the worlds Later (6:3), the Galgat is depicted as the king over 
time. This is because all lime is defined by cyclic motion. The word 
Gaigal also means sphere or circle. In some places in the Talmud the 
word is used to denote the sphere of the zodiac/ 5 


iv rit 


.hr, 


:ri; 



240 


SEfTR YETZIRAH 


The Sefor Yetzirah (2:4) earlier slated that the 22 letters had to 
be fixed in the Galgal to produce the 231 Gates, The word Galgal 
therefore also denotes the mystical array of the 22 letters. 

In this respect, the Teii denotes the almost invisible lines upon 
which the letters are written, The Galgal is the circle in which they 
are drawn. 

The Sc for Yetzirah also associated the mystical experience with 
the whirlwind known as a Sufah (l:6k It h significant that the 
prophet Isaiah associates such a whirlwind with the Galgal, saying, 
"Like a sphere {galgal) before the whirlwind tmfahr {Isaiah 17:13), 
ll is also associated with God's voice, as in the verse, "The voice of 
Your thunder was in the sphere igalgalT (Psalms 77: 19)* 

Most significantly, the Galgal is also seen as being below the foci 
of the Cherubim. God thus told an angel. “Come to the innards of 
the Galgal. beneath the Cherub" (Ezekiel 10:2), This Cherub is 
expltcildy identified with the Chayot seen in Ezekiel’s initial vision, 
as he says* “And the Cherubim went up, this is the Chayah that I saw' 
on the river Chebar" (Ezekiel 10:15). Earlier (1:3), we have also dis^ 
cussed how the Cherubim serve as the focus of the mystical experi¬ 
ence. The Galgal is therefore a cycle that lifts one up to the level of 
the Chayot, which are in the Universe of Yetzirah. 

The Bahir slates that the Galgal h the Womb. 4J In one sense, 
this is speaking of the Galgal as the cycle of time. The present is the 
womb in which the future is bom. As we have seen earlier j 1:3), the 
dimension of time is seen as extending between Chakhmah and 
Email. Chakhmah is the past, while Binah is the future. The present 
is the interface between these two Sefirot. Binah is the Mother, and 
the Galgal is Her womb. 

An important cycle that we have discussed earlier (1:4) is the oscil¬ 
lation between Chakhmah and Binah consciousness. The first initiation 
nuo the spiritual domain comes through this exercise, and hence, as a 
Galgal , it is the entrance into the mysteries. In this sense, the Galgal is 
the womb from which one is reborn into a spiritual plane. 


The Hear! 

The heart is seen as king over the soul (6:3). Of all parts in the 
body, it is the dominant one. The soul relates to the spiritual dimen¬ 
sion. Thus, when the Scfcr Yetzirah speaks of the mystical experi¬ 
ence, it describes it as a “running of the bean" (1:8), 

The Hebrew word for heart is Lev (a 1 ?), and as mentioned earlier 
(1:1), this is also the number 32 in Hebrew. As the Bahir states, the 
heart represents the 32 Paths of Wisdom,*" It is through these 32 


n 


f riohl 



f fmphr Six 


241 

paths that one ascends into the spiritual dimension. The Book of 
ttiiziei similarly stales, "Breath \Ruach) emanates from the hcan. just 
like the Holy Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh) emanates from the Throne [of 
Glory)"" 

The Bahir also states that this Heart is the scriptural "Heart of 
heaven* 

The one place where this is mentioned is in the account of the 
revelation at Sinai: “You came close, and you stood under the moun- 
lain, and the mountain burned in fire, until the heart of heaven — 
darkness, cloud, and gloom. And God spoke to you from out of the 
fine* (Deuteronomy 4:11,12}. w 

From the contest, we sec that the fire that reached to “the heart 
of heaven 1 " was the fire associated with revelation, from which God 
spoke Such fire is the third step in the initiation of revelation, as we 
find in the case of Ezekiel's vision, which was initiated with "a 
stormwmd ,.. a great cloud, and flashing fire* f Ezekiel 1:4). It was 
only m the fire that he visualized the CtkiihnuL Similarly; in Elijah's 
vision, the three steps were, "wind *,, sound ... and fire"* (1 Kings 
19:11-12). In one place, the Midrash also relates this fire to the ladder 
in Jacob's dream, Sl This ladder is also the vehicle through which one 
climbs into the transcendental. 

The three steps mentioned by Ezekiel also appear parallel those 
taught by the Sefer Yetzirah (1:10-!2). First comes Breath ( Ruach }, 
which can also be translated as wind, which is the “stormwind* of 
Ezekiel. Then comes "water from Breath," which can be associated 
with the raindoud that lie saw. The opaqueness of this doud is simi¬ 
lar to the "mire and day" mentioned in Sefer Yet/irah, 

The ihird step is 'Tire from water.” This is the “flashing fire* 
seen by Ezekiel. The Sefer YcLzirnh says that out of this fire one 
depicts, “The throne of Glory , Serafim, Ophamm. and holy Chayot" 
(1:12). Similarly, after experiencing the fire. Ezekiel was able to visu¬ 
alize the Cfcayot and the Throne of Glory. 

It is this fire of revelation that is said to reach "to the heart of 
heaven." The heart is the king over the dimension of spirit, and one 
travels through this dimension by means of fire. This fire therefore 
reaches the “heart" The Heart represents the 32 paths on the Tree 
of Ufe- 

In this verse, the scripture states that God spoke “out of the fire.” 
Elsewhere, however, it says, "You heard His voice out of the midst 
of the darkness” (Deuteronomy 5:20). But as the Zohar states, the 
"fire" mentioned here is the fire of darkness,^ It is the burning long¬ 
ing that comes from the total nullification of thought. This is also 
associated with the “black fire" with which the primeval Torah was 
written.” 



242 


SF.FER VETZIRAH 


In the Kabbalah, the word “heaven" is usually associated with 
Zcr Anpin. The ‘ heart of heaven" is therefore the heart of Zcr 
Anpin H 

It is significant that the Bahir relates the HfU to the hair on the 
head, while the Galgal is related to the womb or belly. The Heart is 
naturally associated with the chest. Thus, from these three, we have 
the head, belly and chest. the three parts of the body associated with 
the Three Mothers, AMSh. 

The TWt, associated with the head, would then relate to the Shin. 
The (Jalgal* associated with the belly, would relate to the Mem, and 
the Heart, to the Alef Out of the Three Mothers, we derive the kings 
over the Universe, Year and Soul. This results in the rive- 
dimensional continuum being divided into space* time* and the 
spiritual, 

Ert another sense, the Teli is the axis, representing the longitudi¬ 
nal angle. The Galgal is the sphere, representing the azimuthal angle 
or latitude. The Heart is the radius or altitude. Thus* these three 
kings represent the three-dimensional in spherical coordinates. The 
five-dimensional continuum can likewise be represented in 
hyper sp hen cal coord 1 nates. 

The Kabbalists note that the initial letters of Teh (’bn), Galgal 
Cabs) and Lev (aS) spell out TaGeL (Sen). This is in, the verse, “My 
soul will rejoice (TaGef) in my God" {Isaiah 6l;lO), iS It is through 
meditation on these three elements that the soul can attain mystical 
ecstasy. 

This word also occurs in the verse, "God is king, let the earth 
rejoice (TaGef)” {Psalms 97:1). This can be interpreted to say* “God 
is King, Teli Galgal Lev is the earth*" indicating that these are the 
three kings over His creation, as the Sefer Yetzirah later states (6:3). 
These are the deep mystery , as it is written. "The mystery of another 
do not reveal {TGaLY {Proverbs 25:9). 



rhyub va its era tik mo« w'iw 
p'oi dW 3 y’"OQ pn nn tiki naob d*di 
a jpTit? ’v naan 'a ..cpqtt na kpu wan i3-iS 
tows jmoo pn rm im 


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Three AIolhers: AMSh (vw) 

AtK water, and fire. 

Fire is above, water is Mow, 
and air of Breath is the rule 
that decides between them. 
And a sign of this thing 

is that fire supports water. 

Mem hums. Shin hisses, 

and Alef is the breath of air 
that decides between them. 


This is essentially a repetition of 3:4 and 2:1. 

Water and Mem represent Chakhmah* while tire and Shin 
denote Binah, Since Chakhmah is usually considered to be above 
Binah. it is somewhat difficult to understand why fire is seen as being 
above water. 56 

The reason behind this, however, is related to the penetration of 
Chakhmah and Binah into Zer Anpin (Microprosopus). The 
Kabbalms teach that Yesod of Chakhmah penetrates down to Yesod 
of Zer Anpin, while Vend of Binah only penetrates as far as the heart 
(Tiferet) of Zer Anpin + Since Binah ends in the heart, it is often iden¬ 
tified with this organ. Chakhmah is clothed in Binah, and since Binah 
ends in the heart, it is there that Chakhmah is first revealed. The 32 
Paths are thus identified with the heart (Lel\ which is Binah. but 
they are also identified with Chakhmah. 51 

Thus, even though "fire is above and water es belowC still, “fire 
supports water" Wisdom may penetrate creation to a greater degree 
than Understanding, and may be found in lower levels, but still, 
Binah “supports’' Chakhmah. and is below it. This is reflected in the 
sounds of the Mem and Shin, which represent these as states of 
consciousness. 

As discussed earlier, on the basts of the Bahir* the Teii is identi¬ 
fied with the head, the Gaigal with the belly, and the Heart with the 
chest. Thus, the 7tti relates to Shin and fire, the Galgaf to Mem and 
water* and the Heart to Alef and air. W hat we therefore discover is 
that space is related to fire, time to water* and spirit to air. 



Y?03 rws bsbi wo3 Sp ohnjn ^rt 
srsonbra nbop wsu iH ttjhot 


onu 

r J 


riqhlt 


i aleri 



244 


5EFER YETZIRAH 


The Teh in the Universe is like a king on his throne 
The C ycle in the Year is like a king in the province. 
The Heart in the Soul is like a king in war. 


The Tefi in the Universe 

The word “king" always alludes to the Sefirah of MalkhuUXJng- 
ship). It denotes the interaction between a ruler and his subjects. 
When we speak of an entity as a king, it is an indication that it is 
interacting with something that is below it. 

The Teh is the king over the Universe^ that is, over the domain 
of space. It is seen as a “king on his throneAlthough the Teh inter- 
acts with space, it does not become part of it 

We can see this in two ways. First of all. we can take the view 
that the Teh is the axis around which the universe revolves. In circu¬ 
lar motion around an axis, everything moves but the axis itself. The 
axis is the focus of the motion, hut docs not partake m it, Similarly, 
the Teii is king over space, but does not become part of it. 

The same is true if we view the Teh as the link between the spirit¬ 
ual and the physical. In this respect also, the spiritual does not enter 
into the physical.* 1 

As discussed earlier, (3:4,12), a "Throne” always involves a con¬ 
cept of lowering and concern. The Teh thus represents the spiritual 
being lowered so as to interact with the physical 

Even though a king sitting on his throne may not come between 
his subjects, he is still highly affected by them. The spiritual is simi¬ 
larly affected by the physical. 

The Cycle in the Year 

Unlike the axis, the cycle not only defines time, but also becomes 
part of time. The cycle cannot stand still in time, but must include itself 
within ihe flow of time. Hence, it is like a “king in the province." 

Thai which defines space can remain aloof from space. That 
which defines time, on the other hand, cannot remain apart from it. 

In human terms, it is the mind that provides a perception of both 
space and time. You can stand in one place and perceive a large por¬ 
tion of space. Like the Teii % you can perceive large areas of space, and 
still remain aloof from them. You do not actually have to be in a 
portion of space in order to perceive it. 

This is not true of time. You can only perceive the time in which 
you exist You may perceive the past in memory, or the future in the 


r J 





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245 


imagination, but direct perception only exists in the present. You can 
perceive space at a distance, but time only when in proximity to it. 

Since no one can perceive the future, you cannot know what you 
will do later, h is due to this fact that you can have free will in the 
present. Thus, it is this basic difference between space and lime that 
allows freedom of action. 

The Heart in the Soul 

The different spacial points, as well as past and future, involve 
end points in thetr respective continue. Still, they do not represent 
opposites. Jn the spiritual dimension, on the other hand, the two end 
points are good and evil T and these are diametrical opposites. 

Since the heart is the midpoint between these opposites, it is seen 
as the site of battle between good and evil. The Talmud therefore 
identifies the heart as the scene of the battle between the Good Urge 
(Yetzer Tov) and the Evil Urge (Yetzer HaRa)^ 



ninpb 310 u'nhtz nvy ht noipb nr n« o; 
moil $hq $n 3io 3io nmyh jn jn 
mw ruio 3torr m proo vtti jnn ™ pnno 
tD>j?nS n-notc? crsioS 


*Atso God made one opposite the other (Ecclesiastes 7:14). 
Good opposite evil, 

Evil opposite good 1 
Good from good 
Evil from evil 
Good defines evil 

And evil defines good 
Good is kept for the good ones 

And evil is kept for the evil ones. 


One opposite the other 

This speaks of the heart, which is like a “king in battle." The two 
extremes on the spiritual axis—good and evil—are actual opposites. 
Like light and darkness, the two cannot coexist. 


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Good from good 

As discussed earlier (l:5) + good is the point on this axis that is 
closest to God, Evil is the side that is furthest from Him. All good 
comes from the side of good, while all evil comes from the other side* 


Good defines evil 

The Zohar explains that light can only be recognized because of 
the existence of dart ness. 69 If there were no darkness, light would be 
an integral pan of the environment, and such an integral pan cannot 
be sensed. Thus, for example, we cannot sense the air, since it is an 
integral pan of our normal environment. Since air is always present* 
there is no need for us to have senses to detect its presence or 
absence. 

Similarly, if light were always present, without being divided 
into shades and colors, we could not see anything with it. Every shade 
or color involves some absorbiion of light, and hence, a degree of 
darkness. 

In a similar manner, good can only be recognized because of the 
existence of evil. If evil did not exist, then we would not have any 
free choice whatever. We would be like mere puppets or robots, !t is 
only because of the existence of good and evil that free will can exist, 
where we can choose between them. Conversely* it is only as a result 
of free will that good and evil can be recognized and defined. 


Good is kept for the good ones 

The dimension of good and evil not only serves to define these 
concepts, but also serves to reward them. It is taught that God cre¬ 
ated the world in order to bestow good to the world, 41 Bui what good 
does He offer? 

First of all, we must realize that any good that God gives must 
be the ultimate good that His creation can accept. The Psalmist said 
" How great is Your good, stored up for those who fear You" (Psalms 
31:20)* Our sages interpret this to say that God bestows good in the 
greatest possible abundance/ 2 In another place, the} 1 teach us that 
this verse means that God is telling us. ‘"You according to your 
strength, and Me according to Mine,"* 3 in other words, God gives us 
the greatest good that we can possibly accept. 

But what is this ultimate good? What is the greatest possible 
good that God can bestow? 




Chapter Six 


247 


!f we ihink about it, the answer is really quite simple, The great’ 
est possible good is God Himself* 4 There is no other ultimate true 
good. The Psalmist thus said, “I have no good but You” (Psalms 
16:2). In the Talmud, Rabbi Acha interprets this to mean that no true 
good ousts in the world, except that of God Himself.* 5 

The ultimate good is therefore to partake of God, and it is this 
good that He planned to give the world. He would create a world 
where creatures ultimately could partake of His essence. The Psalmist 
sinp of this, “Taste and see that God is good, happy is the man who 
finds refuge in Him’* (Psalms 34:9). 

God therefore created the world m such a way that we could 
draw close to Him and partake of His essence. Of courae, we are not 
speaking of physical closeness, but of spiritual closeness Such close¬ 
ness involves the knowledge and understanding of God, as well as 
resembling Him to the greatest degree possible. 

Here again, we hear this in the words of the Psalmist, ' But for 
me, the nearness of God is good. I have made God my refuge, that 
1 may tell of His works" (Psalms 73:28). The Psalmist is teaching us 
that his ultimate good is nearness to God. This nearness involves 
“telling of His works"—that is, a deep knowledge and perception of 
the Divine. 61 ’ 

The ultimate good that God offers is therefore the opportunity 
to perceive Him. In one place, our sages thus teach us that God cre¬ 
ated the world in order that men may know Him. 67 This is not a sepa¬ 
rate reason, but the way in which He bestows His good upon us* 44 
God thus told us through His prophet, “I am your God, 1 teach you 
for your good" (Isaiah 48:17). The Psalmist expresses the same idea 
when he says, “You are goad, and You do good, teach me Your 
decrees" (Psalms 119:68). 

To know God and understand Him in any way is to have a deep 
awe and dread of His Majesty. All true wisdom is that of God. But 
such wisdom and knowledge imply the fear and reverence of God. 
The Psalmist thus said. “The beginning of Wisdom is the fear of 
God" {Psalms 111:10). Solomon expressed the same idea when he 
said, “The fear of God is the beginning of Knowledge" (Proverbs 

We can therefore say that the ultimate goal of creation is that wc 
should come close to God, and therefore both know and fear Him. 
Again we hear the words of Solomon, “Whatever God docs shall be 
forever, ., God has made it so that man should fear Him" (Ecclesias- 
tes 3:14). The Talmud comments on this, saying that the world was 
created for the fear of God, 70 This is man's true purpose in the w r orld. 
as we find again, “The sum of the matter, when all has been heard: 
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is all of man" (Eeele- 


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suistcs 12:3 3>. In ihe Talmud, Rabbi Elazar comments on this and 
says. "Solomon is teaching us that all the world was created for the 
fear of God." 71 

When our sages say that the world was created for the fear of 
God, they are not contradicting the teaching that it was created as a 
vehicle for His good. What they are doing is expressing what this 
good ultimately is. h is a knowledge of God that is most perfectly 
expressed by the reverence and awe that we call the "fear of God." 

The ultimate place where we will be worthy of this vision and 
perception will be in what we call O/am HaBah=-Tht Future World 
or the World to Come. It is a world of absolute life and goodness. It 
is of the vision of the World to Come that the Psalmist is speaking 
of when he says, "1 hcheve that 1 will gaze upon God in the land of 
the living" (Psalms 27:13), This “land of ihe living" is the Future 
World. ?J 

it is this future world that is the goal of all creation. Our sages 
thus leach us, "This world is like an antechamber before the World 
to Come. Prepare yourself in the antechamber before you enter the 
palace," 73 

Since this Future World is the ultimate goal of creat ion, it is also 
the place of ultimate good. In the language of the Talmud, it is called, 
"the World where all is goad." 4 It is a good that surpasses anything 
that this world may possibly have to offer. This is what our sages 
mean when they say. “One moment of delight in the Future World 
is more than all the good of this world," 79 

We can obtain some idea of what this Future World will be like 
from a common saying of Rav T quoted in the Talmud.' 4 He said. “In 
the Future World, there will be no eating, drinking, childbearing or 
business. Neither will there be jealousy, hatred or strife. The right¬ 
eous will sit with their crowns on ihetr heads, delighting in the radi¬ 
ance of the Divine Presence." 

Our sages teach us that ibis “radiance of the Divine Presence" 
is a perception of the Divine.- In the Future World, we will perceive 
and comprehend God in the greatest degree possible. 

This perception of God in the Future World is totally beyond 
our present grasp. That of the least of us will pale the achievements 
of the greatest sages in this world. Still, of course, it will be impossible 
to perceive God in His entirety. This is impossible for any being 
other than God Himself. Although incomparable to anything in this 
life, our perception will still be less than a drop in an infinite ocean. 
Nevertheless, it will far exceed anything possible in this world, 71 

In order that we may approach Him, God created a dimension 
of nearness to His being. By moving through this dimension, wc are 
able to come closer and closer to God, even though wc can never 
actually reach Him, This dimension is what we call ihe spiritual 



Chapter Si .t 


249 


world. Our sages call the highest spiritual world Aiziiut —the World 
of Nearness, All the spiritual worlds were created as vehicles through 
which we may draw near to God, In a sense, they serve as a filter, 
allowing us to draw near and still not he obliterated bv His infinite 
Light™ 

In a number of places, our sages speak of these worlds as the 
Celestial Treasuries. Thus, Israel sings to God, "The King will bring 
me into His chamber" (Song of Songs 1:4), The sages comment that 
God will bring the righteous into His celestial chambers and allow 
them to probe the treasuries on high. 40 

This is also the meaning of the tight that was made on the first 
day of creation. Our sages teach us that it was not mere physical light, 
but a wonderous light with which one could see "from one end of the 
universe to the other”* 1 This was the light of perception, shining in 
all the spiritual worlds, with which one could experience this vision 
of God. Our sages thus continue, “God set this light aside for the 
righteous in the World to Come.” Si 

This is the light of perception with which we w ill partake of the 
Divine—the **radiance of the Divine Presence.” Elihu was speaking 
of this when he told Job that God will “turn back his soul from 
destruction, and illuminate him in the light of life" (Job 33:30). Solo¬ 
mon informs us that this light is the source of eternal life, w f hen he 
says. "In the light of the King’s face is life” (Proverbs 16:15). 13 

God’s ultimate goal in creation was therefore the World to 
Come, w here man could perceive a vision of God. Not God Himself, 
of course, but a vision. Perhaps through many filters, but still, a 
vision of God. The Psalmist sings of this vision, “In righteousness, I 
wilt see Your face, when I awake, 1 will be satiated with a vision of 
You” (Psalms 17:15), The Psalmist is speaking of the time when he 
will awake to the delights of the Future World. Our sages comment 
on this verse. “God will satisfy the righteous with a vision of the 
Divine Presence. 

The bliss of the Future World will be endless. In His endless 
goodness. God will give us a world of good without end. The Psalmist 
is speaking of this when he exclaims, "In Your presence is fullness of 
joy, in Your right hand is bliss forever" (Psalms 16:11),** 

Of course, everything about this Future World is totally beyond 
our powers of description. Even the visions of the greatest prophets 
will pale in comparison. It is something that no human mind can pos¬ 
sibly imagine in this life. Li cannot come through human understand¬ 
ing. but only as a gift from God, and when He gives it, w r e will under¬ 
stand, The prophet therefore says when speaking of the W f orld to 
Come: '‘Never has the ear heard it—no eye has seen it—other than 
God: That which He will do for those who hope in Him* (Isaiah 
64:3)> 


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This good is noi given as a reward, but as a direct result of a 
person's binding himself to good. A person attains that to which be 
attaches himself , 517 



Three: 


inni rp?o ttik ioiy naS inn hi nwhw 
toSt nyiv jpma jr-oa imn 
ipy irron -owa P’idq pn ttiki Sid 
n vhv? owin rwhw nan^sa jHcny 
ihn o»arm nr 1 ?® <B*irna nirtttn o«na toSp 
npVr jwSm mam msn owtp a*imm 
*2V crrPOD nrbsn Vtnam * 3 ^ D«ra 

isnp jiyoo oSisa Wta }oa« -|S° l *n ram 

Epapin 

' 3 i ^y roV ,wSf '3; Sy tik + iy ny iy 
trro nt a*p™ dSsi “itty crity *aj *?y nyatf 

,ny:ra? 


facto fj/ic stands a!one 


one acts as advocate 


one acts as accuser 

and one decides between them. 

Seven: 

Three opposite three 

and one is the rule deciding between them. 
Twelve stand in vrar 
Three love, 
three hale , 

three give life 
and three kill 

Three love: the heart and the ears. 

Three hate: the liver, the gall, and the longue. 

Three give life: the two nostrils and the spleen. 
Three kill: the two orifices and the mouth. 

And God faithful King rules over them all 
from His holy habitation 

until eternity of eternities. 

One on three 
three on seven 
seven on twelve, 

And all are bound, one to another. 


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Chapter Six 


251 


One ads os an advocate 

See 2:1 and 3:1. 

Seven: three opposite three 

The sequence three, seven. twelve. can be defined in a number 
of ways- One, which we have discussed earlier (1:2). involved the 
lines connecting the Seflrot. However, there is another important 
sequence that also yields these numbers. 

This second sequence can also be expressed in a number of ways. 
The most obvious involves the first three regular polygons. The sim¬ 
plest polygon* the triangle has three points. When inscribed in a 
square, one then has seven points. Finally, when both are inscribed 
in a pentagon, there are a total of twelve points. See figure 64 on page 
252. On a more sophisticated level, this sequence can be represented 
by a triangle, a tetrahedron, and a hypertetrahedron 

Another significant sequence that yields exactly ihe same result 
is that of truncated triangles, See figure 65 on page 252. 

Section A (figure 65) consists of three points. Here, the one lo 
the right is the advocate, the one to the left is the accuser, and the 
middle point is the deciding one. This is the concept of thesis, and* 
thesis, and synthesis, discussed earlier (2:1). 

Figure 66 (on page 253) consists of seven points in a truncated 
triangle. This can be divided into two triangles, each representing the 
original triad, and a center point in the middle. In the top section of 
figure 66. we can dearly see seven distinct steps from right to left. 

We also have twelve points in a truncated triangle shown in both 
figures 65 and 66. Here there are no longer seven distinct steps, since 
three are duplicated in the top and bottom tines. The three on top 
are the ones that give life, while the three on the bottom are the three 
that kill. The triangle to the right represents love, while that to the 
left arc the three who hate. (See section B in figure 66), 

Hate can also be represented in this diagram by a large inverted 
triangle. It is hate because the three points are separated- The smaller, 
inner triangle, where the points are not separated, then represents 
love. The two triangles to the right and left (in figure 66) are then life 
and death. 

And God faithful King 

The expression here is exactly the same used in 1:5. The Hebrew 
word Afa'on for habitation has also been explained there. 


■ iil 


i In f c~i 


:n; 



252 


SEffK yetzirah 


Three 


Seven 


Twelve 





Figure 64. The seqttetlet of polygons. 


Three 


Seven 


Twelve 


O O O 

G O O 

o o o o 
o o o 

O G O □ 

O O O O Q 


Generaf formula: n (n + 5V2 
Figure 65, The sequence of truncated triangles- 


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. A°A 



Figure 66, A) Three opposite three, and One is the rule div iding be¬ 
tween them. 8} Twelve stand in war: Three love, three hale, three give 
fife, and three kifL 

Three 


Ten: ihree on seven 


Twenty-two: 
three on seven 
seven on twelve 

Figure 67. Three (A) become three on seven (8), which becomes seven 
on twtfye (Cj. The general formula here is nfn+ i) ln^rSp'6 





One on three 

The One is the ineffable, which is not counted in the sequence. 


Three on seven 

When the truncated triangle of three is placed os that of seven t 
one has a truncated pyramid containing ten points. These represent 
tfae Ten Sefirot See figure 67. 


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Si.FER YF 1 Z 1 RAH 


When this, in turn, is placed on the truncated triangle containing 
twelve points, this yields a truncated pyramid with 22 points. These 
represent the 22 letters of the alphabet. 


5 , y mn« ppn pzw mrm o*npi d'tpv o?t iSk 

. O moor mrr mr? e*nbw irnStt mrr m 

nsyStf sno rrnjn TVI* nv Sn rn«32f Q*rrb&c 
m tarn Tjn mViy S3 hk onn ktdi d'tdd 
:TiyS I’npn S3 rai urn 


TTrcsf a re the twenty-two letters 
with which engraved 
Ehyeh , tfri. YHVH Ehhim, YHVH, 

YHVH Tzavaot. Ehhim Tzavaot r E/SAddb', 
YHVH Adonoy, 

And with them He made three Books, 

and with them He created His Universe, 
and He formed with them ad that was ever formed, 
and ad that ever wid be formed , 


This is very similar to 1:1. The ten divine names here represent 
the Ten Sefirot in descending order. See Table 55, 


Table 55. The len divine names 


Sefirah 

Name 


Keter 

Ehyeh (1 Will Be) 


Chakhmah 

Yah 


Bin ah 

YHVH {pronounced Elohim) 


Chesed 

El 


Gevurah 

Elohim 


Tiferel 

YHVH 


Nctzaeh 

YHVH Tzavaot (Lord of Hosts) 


Hod 

Elohim Tzavaot (God of Hosts) 


Yesod 

El Shad da] (Almighty God) 


Malkhut 

YHVH Adonoy 




Chapter Six 


255 



I*am nem 0*3.1 n'y □ maw wa^a 

ionjp n«*i3n ri >3 urf?jn asm ppm -pm 
San pit* vSy nSw to pra ivy ton omi mi 
ibwi by pvj1 ipra mcnm iyb w iiam 
□Siy ip lyntbi r? mia mm *anw dtqk wpi 
rm b jtdi .npiy b rnvnn 'na pawm mt«v 
to? pm ms wim rp myayw nuy pi 
onry nvpi .nb’an n»ia «im vbn myayw 
me m lb nbu's mwbi titith pvnw o*mpi 
nyasra py3 rrra [^yn vta |pbn mea poo 
:nibrn ivy pw 3 pna 


Abraham our father, may he rest in peace, 
looked, saw. understood, probed 
engraved and carved. 

He was successful in creation, 
as it is written, 

''And the souls that they made in Hasan “ (Genesis 

12:5)* 

Immediately there was revealed to him the Master of all, 
may Hts name be blessed forever. 

He placed him in His bosom t and kissed him on hts head, 
and He called him, 

'Abraham my beloved r (Isaiah 41:8). 

He made a covenant with htm 

and with his children after him forever, 
as it is written, 

"And he believed in God , ami He considered 

and He considered it righteousness"* (Genesis 15:6). 
He made with him a covenant 

between the ten fingers of his hands — 
this is the covenant of the tongue, 
and between the ten toes of his feet — 
this is the covenant of circumcision. 

And He bound the 22 letters of the Torah to his longue 
and He revealed to him His mystery 
He drew* them in water, 

He flamed them with fire. 

He agitated them w ith Breath, 

He burned them with the seven / planets] 

He directed them with the twelve constellations. 


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5EFEK V El ZIRAH 


And when Abraham our father ... 

It is from here that a tradition is derived linking Abraham to the 
Sefer Yetzirah, 


Engraved and caned 

Here we dearly see that "engraving* and "carving" involve med¬ 
itative techniques.** This has alreadv been discussed previously 
(1:14). 

Before one can engage in these techniques, however, one must, 
“look. sec. understand, and probe." These techniques have also been 
discussed (1:4), 


And he was successful 

The complete verse quoted here relates to Abraham’s leaving 
Haran at God's command, and it states, "So Abram went T as God 
had told him ... and Abram took his wife Sarah and his nephew Lot t 
and all the substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they 
had made in Haran" (Genesis 12:5). This implies that before God 
had spoken to him and told him to leave his land, Abraham had 
already mastered the mysteries of Scfer Yelzirah. 

The Kabbalists note that the verse says, *thc souls that they 
made,* in the plural. This indicates that one attempting to make a 
Golem should not work alone, but should do so in partnership with 
others, 


He made a covenant 
Sec 1:1 


He drew them in water 

This indicates that the symbolism of water and fire* discussed 
earlier (1:11.12). also relate to meditative techniques. 



APPENDIX 1 
Other Versions of the 
Sefer Yetzirah 


Copyrighted material 



Copyrighted material 



THE SHORT VERSION 

On order to show how it can be done, this has been translated in the 
imperative. The bracketed portions are those omitted by Donash.) 


Copyrighted material 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix I 


261 


Chapter 1 

U With 32 wondrous paths of Wisdom engrave Yah. the Lord of 
Hosts. [God of Israd s the Living God, King of the universe. Almighty 
God, merciful and gracious, High and Exalted* dwelling in eternity, 
whose name is Holy, and create His universe] with three books, with 
text f Sepher ), with number (Sephar). and with communication 
(Sippur). 

2, Ten Seftroi of Nothingness plus twenty-two [foundation] letters: 
Three Mothers Seven Doubles, and Twelve Elemental. 

3, Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: The number of the ten fingers, five 
opposite five, with a single covenant precisely in the middle, like the 
circumcision of the tongue and the circumcision of the membrum, 

4, Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Ten and not nine: ten and not eleven. 
Understand with Wisdom, and be wise with Understanding, Examine 
with them and probe from them, make a thing stand on its essence, 
and make the Creator sit on His base, 

5, Ten Seftroi of Nothingness: Their measure is ten which have no 
end. A depth of beginning, a depth of end; a depth of good, a depth 
of evil; a depth above, a depth below; a depth east, a depth west; a 
depth north, a depth south. The singular Master, God faithful King, 
dominates them all from His holy dwelling until eternity of 
eternities. 

6, Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their vision is like the “appearance 
of lightning." their limit has no end. His Word in them is '‘running 
and returning," They rush to His saying like a whirlwind, and before 
His throne they prostrate themselves, 

7, Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their end is imbedded in their begim 
ning, and their beginning in their end, like a flame in a burning coal. 
For the Master is singular. He has no second. And before One. what 
do you count? 

E.Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Bridle your mouth from speaking and 
your heart from thinking. And if your heart runs, return to the place, 
as it is written. “The Chayol running and reluming’™ (Ezekiel 1:14)* 
Regarding this a covenant was made. 

9. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God, 
blessed and benedkied be the Name of the Life of worlds. Voice, 
Breath and Speech, This is the Holy Breath (Ruach ffuKodesh). 



262 


SEFER Vt l ZlRAH 


10, Two; Breath from Breath, With it engrave and cane twenty-two 
foundation letters—three Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve 
Elemental^—and one Breath is from them, 

11, Three: Water from Breath, With it engrave and carve chaos and 
void, mire and day. Engrave them like a garden plot, carve them like 
a wall, cover them like a ceiling, 

12, Four: Fire from water. With it engrave and carve the Throne of 
Glory, Seraphim, Gphanm holy Chayot, and Ministering Angels, 
From the three establish His dwelling, as it is written, '‘He makes His 
angch of breaths. His ministers from flaming fire 11 (Psalms 104:4}, 

13, Five: With three of the simple letters seal “above.” Choose three 
and place them in His great Name: YTfV. With them seal the six 
extremities Face upward and seal it with YHV, 

Six: Seal “below." Face downward and seal it with YVH. 

Seven: Seal “cast." Face straight ahead and seal it with HYV, 

Eight: Seal ‘■west,” Face backward and sea! it with HVY. 

Nine: Seal “south " Face to the right and seal it w'ith VYH. 

Ten: Seal “north," Face to the left and seal it with VHY. 

14, These are the Ten Seftrot of Nothingness, One is the Breath of 
the Living God, Breath [from Breath], Water [from Breath], Fire 
[from water, and the extremities], up. down, east, west, north and 
south. 


Chapter 2 


L Twenty-two foundation letters: three Mothers, seven Doubles, and 
twelve Elemental. The three Mothers. AMSh, their foundation is the 
pan of merit, the pan of liability, and the tongue of decree deciding 
between them, 

2. Twenty-two letters; Engrave them, carve them, weigh them, per¬ 
mute them, and transform them, and with them depict the soul of all 
that was formed and all that will be formed in the future. 

3. Twenty-two [foundation] letters: They are engraved with voice, 
carved with breath, and placed in the mouth in five places: AChHO, 
BVMP, GYKQ, DTLNTh. ZSShRTz, 

4. Twenty-two foundation letters: They are set in a circle as 231 
Gates. The circle rotates back and forth. And this is a sign: There is 



n 



Appendix / 


3G3 


no good higher than delight {ONG) A and There is no evil tower than 
plague {NGO}, 

5, How* 1 Weigh Them and Transpose therm Alef ■with each one, and 
each one with Alef; Bet with each one. and each one with Beu They 
repeat in a cycle. Therefore, everything formed and everything spo¬ 
ken emanates in one name. 

6, Form substance out of chaos and make nonexistence into exis¬ 
tence, Carve great pillars out of air that cannot be grasped. This is 
the sign; One foresees, transposes, and makes all creation and all 
words with one Name. And a sign of this: Twenty-two objects in a 
single body. 


Chapter 3 


]. Three Mothers, AMSb: Their foundation is the pan of liability, the 
pan of merit, and the tongue of decree deciding between them, 

2. Three mothers. AMSh: A great, mystical* concealed secret, sealed 
with six rings. And From it emanate fire and water, separating them¬ 
selves as male and female. Three Mothers* AMSh, are their founda¬ 
tion. and from them are born the Fathers, from which everything was 
created, 

3. Three Mothers, AMSh. in the Universe are air, water, and fire. 
Heaven was created from fine, earth was created from water, and the 
air decides between the fire and the water. 

4. Three mothers* AMSh* in the Year are fire, water, and breath. The 
hot is created from fire, the cold is created from water, and the tem¬ 
perate from breath decides between them. 

Three Mothers. AMSh, in the Soul are fire* water, and breath. 
The head is created from fire, the belly is created from water* and 
the chest, created from breath, decides between them. 

5. Three Mother, AMSH: Engrave them, carve them, permute them* 
and with them seal three Mothers in the Universe, ihree Mothers in 
the Year, and three Mothers in the Soul, male and female, 

6. Make Alef king over breath* bind a crown to it* and combine one 
with another. And with them seal air in the Universe* the temperate 
in the Year, and the chest in the Soul* the male with AMSh* and the 
female with AShM. 

7. Make Mem king over water bind a crown to ft, and combine one 
with another. And with them seal earth in the Universe, the cold in 



264 


SEFEfc VETZ1RAH 


the Year, and the belly m the Soul. the male with MASh, and the 
female with MShA, 

8. Make Shin king over fire, bind a crown to it, and combine one 
with another, And with them seal heaven in the Universe, the hot in 
the Year and the head in the soul. the male [with ShAMJ, and the 
female [with ShMA]. 


Chapter 4 

h Seven Doubles, BGD RPRT: Their foundation is life, peace, wis¬ 
dom. wealth, grace, seed, dominance. Each has two sounds: B-Bh, 
G-Gh, D-Oh. SC-Kh, P-Ph, R-Rk T-Th, [A structure of| soft and 
hard, [a structure of] strong and weak, double because they are trans¬ 
poses. The transpose of life is death, the transpose of peace is evil, 
the transpose of wisdom is folly, the transpose of wealth is poverty, 
the transpose of grace is ugliness, the transpose of seed is desolation, 
the transpose of dominance is subjugation, 

2, [Seven Doubles. BGD K.PRT: Seven and not six, seven and not 
eight. Examine with them and probe from them, make each thing 
stand on its essence, and make the Creator sit on His base,] 

2, Seven Doubles. BGD K.PRT, parallel the seven extremities. These 
are the six extremities: up, down, east. west, north, south. And the 
Holy Palace precisely in the middle upholds them all. 

4. Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Engrave them, carve them, combine 
them, as planets in the Universe, days in the Year, and gates in the 
Soul. From them engrave seven firmaments, seven earths, seven 
weeks. Seven is therefore beloved under all the heavens. 

5. [How? Make Bet king over life, bind a crown to it, and with it 
depict Saturn in the Universe, Sunday in the Year, and the right eye 
in the Soul. 

6. [Make Gimel king, bind a crown to it. and with it depict Jupiter 
in the Universe, Monday in the Year, and the left eye in the Soul. 

7. [Make Dalet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Mars in 
the Universe, Tuesday in the Year, and the right ear in the Soul. 

8. [Make Kaf king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict the Sun in 
the Universe, Wednesday in. the Year, and the left ear in the Soul 


■ riant 



Appendix / 


2*5 


9. [Make Peh king, bind a crown to it* and with it depict Venus in 
the Universe, Thursday in the Year, and the right nostril in the 
Soul. 

10. [Make Resh king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Mercury 
in the Universe, Friday in the Year, and the left nostril in the Soul, 

1 L [Make Tav king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict the Moon 
in the Universe, the Sabbath in the Year, and the mouth in the 
SouL] 

12. The Seven Doubles, how does one permute them? Two stones 
build two houses,, three build six houses, four build 24 houses, five 
build 120 houses, six build 720 houses, and seven build 5040 houses. 
From there on go out and calculate that which the mouth cannot 
speak and the ear cannot hear. 

These are the seven planets in the Universe: The Sun, Venus. 
Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, MarsJ These are the seven days 
in the Year: The seven days of creation. And the Seven gates in the 
Soul are the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils, and the mouth. 
And with them were engraved the seven firmaments, the seven 
earths. the seven hours, Seven is therefore beloved for every' desire 
under heaven, 1 2 3 


Chapter 5 


1, Twelve Element a Is: HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. Their foundation is 
sight, hearing, smell, speech, taste, coition, action, motion, anger, 
laughter, thought, and sleep. Their measure is the twelve diagonal 
boundaries: the north-east boundary, the south-east boundary, the 
upper-east boundary, the Lower-east boundary; the upper-north 
boundary. the lower-north boundary; the south-west boundary, the 
north-west boundary; the upper-west boundary, the lower-west 
boundary, the upper-south boundary, the lower-$oulh boundary. 
They continually spread for ever and ever. They are the Arms of the 
Universe. 

2. Twelve Elemenials: HV ZCh TY LN SO T?.Q, Engrave them, carve 

them, weigh them, permute them, transpose them, and with them 
depict the twelve constellations in the Univese: Aries. Taurus. Gem¬ 
ini, Cancer. Leo. Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, 
Aquarius, and Pisces; the twelve months in the Year: Nissan, War, 
Si van* Tamnz t Av, Elul, TishreL Mar-cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, She- 
vat, Adar; and the twelve directors in the Soul: two hands, two feet. 


opyriqhled material 



266 


SEFER VETZIRAH 


two kidneys, the spleen, the liver, the gal! bladder, the hemses$ r the 
kiva, and the karkeban. 

[How does one permute them? Make Heh king, bind a crown 10 
it, and with it depict Aries in the Univese, Nissan in the Year, and 
the right hand in the soul, male and female. 

[Make Vav king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Taurus 
in the Universe, lyar in the Year, and the left hand in the Soul 

[Make Zayin king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Gemini 
in the Universe, Sivan in the Year, and the right fool in the Soul. 

[Make Chet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Cancer 
in the Universe. Tamuz in the Year, and the left foot in the Soul 

[Make Tet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Leo in the 
Universe. Av in the Year and the right kidney in the soul 

[Make Yud king, bind a crown to it. and with it depict Virgo in 
the Universe. EIul in the Year, and the left kidney in the Soul. 

[Make Lamed king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Libra 
in the Universe. Tishrci in the Year, and the liver in the Soul. 

[Make Nun king, bind a crown to il T and with it depict Scorpio 
in the Universe, Mar-cheshvan in the Year, and ihe spleen in the 
Soul. 

[Make Samckh king, bind a crown to it. and with it depict Sagit¬ 
tarius in the Universe, KJslev in the Year, and the gal! bladder in the 
Soul. 

[Make Eyin king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Capricorn 
in the Universe, Tevet in the Year, and the hemsexs in the Soul. 

[Make Tzadi king, bind a crown to it. and with it depict Aquarius 
in the Universe, Shevat in the Year, and the kiiah in the Soul. 

[Make Kuf king* bind a crown to it, and with it depict Pisces in 
the Universe, Adar in the Year, and the korkehan in the Soul,] 

3. Three Mothers which are three Fathers, from which emanate Fire, 
breath and water. Three Mothers, seven Doubles, and Twelve 
Elemental*. 

4, These are the twenty-two letters which were founded by the 
Blessed Holy One {Yah, YHVH of Hosts. God of Israel the Living 
God r high and exalted] dwelling in eternity, whose name is Holy, 
[exalted and holy is He). 

Chapter 6 

1. Three are the Fathers and their offspring, seven are the planets 
and their host, and twelve are the diagonal boundaries. And the proof 
of this, true witnesses, are the Universe, the Year, and the Soul. He 



Appendix / 


2a? 

decreed Twelve. (Ten}* Seven and Three, and He appointed them in 
the Teli, the Cycle, and the Heart, The three are fire, water, and 
breath; fire above, water below, and breath, the decree that decides 
between them. A sign of this is that fire upholds water. 

Mem hums, Shin hisses* and AJef Is the decree that decides 
between them, 

2, The Teli in the Universe is like a king on his throne, the Cycle in 
the Year is like a king in the province, the Heart in the Soul is like 
a king in battle. 

"'Also every desire, one opposite the other was made by God*" 
(Ecclesiastes 7:14). Good opposite evil, good from good, evil from 
evil. Good makes evil recognizable* and evil makes good recogniza¬ 
ble. Goods makes evil recognizable, and evil makes good recognizable. 
Good is kept for the good, and evil is kept for the wicked. 

3, Three: each one stands alone. Seven arc divided, three opposite 
three, with a decree deciding between them. Twelve stand in war 
three who love, three who hate, three who give lire, and three who 
kill. The three who love are the heart, the ears and the mouth; the 
three who hate are the liver, the gall bladder, and the tongue, And 
God. the faithful King dominates them all One over three, three over 
seven* seven over twelve, and all of them are bound, one to 
another, 

4, And when Abraham our father gazed, he looked, saw, delved, 
understood, engraved, carved, permuted and depicted, and he was 
successful. And the Master of all, Blessed be He, revealed Himself to 
him. and took him in His bosom, [kissed him on the head, and called 
him, ‘'My beloved"]. He made a covenant with him between the ten 
toes of his feet—this is the covenant of circumcision—and between 
the ten fingers of his hands—this is the covenant of the tongue. He 
bound the twenty-two letters to his tongue and revealed their founda¬ 
tion. He drew them in water, burned them in fine, agitated them with 
breath. He ignited them with the seven (planets}* and directed them 
with the twelve constellations. 


IV I'll.' 


ihh 


:ri 



Copyrighted material 



THE LONG VERSION 



Copyrighted material 



Appendix t 


111 


Chapter 1 

J. With thirty-two mystical paths of Wisdom engraved Yah, YHVH 
of Hosts. God of Israel, the Living God, God Almighty, high and 
exalted, dwelling in eternity on high, and His name is Holy, and He 
created His universe with three books, with text, with number, and 
with communication, [They are] Ten Sefirot of Nothingness and 
twenty-two foundation letters. 

2. Ten Sefirot like the number of ten fingers, five opposite five. The 
singular covenant is directly in the middle, like the circumcision of 
the tongue in the mouth, and like the circumcision of the 
membrum, 

J. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Ten and not nine, ten and not eleven* 
Understand with Wisdom, and probe with Understanding, Discern 
with them and probe from them. Make a thing stand on its essence, 
and make the Creator sit on His base, for He alone is the Former 
and Creator, and there is none besides Him, And His measure is ten 
and they have no end, 

4. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Bridle your heart from thinking, bridle 
your mouth from speaking. And if your heart runs* return to the 
place, as it is written, *And the Chayot running and returning," 
Regarding this a covenant has been made. 

5. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their end is imbedded in their begin¬ 
ning, and ihelr beginning in their end T like a flame bound to a burn¬ 
ing coal. Know, think and depict that the Master is unitary, and the 
Creator is One, and He has no second. And before One* what do you 
count? 

6. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their measure is ten which have no 
end: A depth of beginning and a depth of end; a depth of good and 
a depth of evil; a depth of above and a depth of below; a depth of 
east and a depth of west, a depth of north and a depth of south. The 
unique Master, God faithful King, dominates them all from His holy 
dwelling until eternity of eternities. 

7. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their vision is like the appearance of 
lightning, and their limit has no end. They speak of them as “running 
and returning," they pursue His word like a whirlwind, and before 
His throne they prostrate themselves, 

8. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness and twenty-two foundation letters: 
Three Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve Elementals, and Breath is 
in each of them. 


ipyrn: 


,hh 


nial 



2T2 


SF.FKR YET21RAH 


9. Ten Sefiroi of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God, 
His throne is established from eternity, J blessed be the name of the 
Life of Worlds constantly, forever and ever: Voice. Breath and 
Speech. Speech is the Holy Breath (Knack HaKodesh). Its inception 
has no beginning, and its termination has no end. 

3 0. Ten Sefiroi of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God, 
two is breath from breath* three is water from breath, four is fire from 
water, and up and down, east and west, north and south, 

] 1. Two is breath from Breath. With them He engraved and carved 
the four direction-breaths (ruchot) of heaven: east and west, north 
and south. And breath frc^/r) is in each one of them. 

12. Three is water from breath, With them he engraved and carved 
chaos and void, clay and mire. He made them like a garden bed, he 
carved them like a wall and he covered them like a ceiling, and he 
poured snow over them, and dust was made. It is thus written. "For 
to snow he said, become earth'" (Job 37:6). 

Chaos h an azure 4 line that surrounds all the world. Void con¬ 
sists of the spongy 5 rocks that are imbedded in the abyss, from 
between which water emanates^ 

13. Four is fire from water. With it He engraved and carved the 
Throne of Glory, Serafim. Ophanim, holy Chayot. and ministering 
angels. And from these three He founded His abode, as it is written, 
“He makes his angels of breaths, His ministers from flaming fire" 
(Psalms 104:4). 

14. Five: He sealed “above" He selected three letters from among 
the Elcmentals and fixed them in His great Name: YHV, With them 
He sealed the six directions. He faced upward and sealed it with 
YHV, 

Six: He sealed “below, 1 " faced downward, and sealed it with 
YVH. 

Seven: He sealed east, faced forward T and sealed it with VYH. 

Eight: He sealed west, faced backward, and sealed it with 
VHY. 

Nine: He sealed south, faced to His right, and sealed it with 
YVH. 

Ten: He sealed north, faced to His left, and sealed it with 

HVY, 

These are Ten Seflrot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the 
Living God* two is breath from Breath, three is water from breath* 
four is fire from water; above and below, east and west, north and 
south. 



Ap\p&ttMx f 


in 


Chapter 2 

L Twenty-two foundation letter three Mothers, seven Doubles, and 
twelve Elemental*. And alt of them are engraved with voice* carved 
with breath, and set in the mouth in five places: the tetters AChHG, 
GYK.Q* DTLNTh* ZSTzRSh, BVMPh, They are bound to the tongue 
like a (lame bound to a burning coal. AChHO is pronounced with 
the base of the tongue and the throat. BVMPh is pronounced between 
the lips and with the tip of the tongue GYKQ is pronounced with 
the shack) third of the tongue, DTLNTh is pronounced with the rip 
of the tongue, together with the voice. ZSTzRSh is pronounced 
between the teeth* with Ihe tongue lying fiat and spread out. 

2. Twenty-two foundation letters: They are set in the Cycle in 231 
Gates, The cycle oscillates back and forth. And a sign for this, if in 
good, there is nothing higher than delight (ONG). and if in evil, there 
is nothing lower than the plague (NGO). 

3. Twenty-two foundation letters: He engraved them, carved them, 
weighed them, and transposed them. Alef with them all. And He per¬ 
muted them* and with them He formed the soul of all that was ever 
formed, and the soul of all that ever will be formed, 

4. How? He weighed them and transposed them, Alef with them all, 
and all of them with Alef Bet with them all, and all of them with 
Bet, [cont inu ing] likew ise with all the [letters]* And all of them oscil¬ 
late cyclically. Thus, they emerge through 233 Gates, and everything 
formed and everything said emanates from one Name, 

5. From Chaos He formed substance* and He made that which was 
not into that which is. He carved great stones out of air that cannot 
be grasped. 


Chapter 3 

1. Three Mothers. AMSh: Their foundation is the pan of merit, the 
pan of liability, and the tongue of decree deciding between them, 

2. Three Mothers, AMSh: A great, concealed, mystical secret, covered 
with six rings. From them emanate fire, water and breath. They arc 
divided as mate and female. Know, think and contemplate that fire 
supports water. 

3. Three Mothers, AMSh: The progeny of the heavens is fire, the 
progeny of the air is breath, and the progeny of the earth is water. 



274 


SEFER VETZJRAH 


Fire is above and water is below, and breath is the decree deciding 
between them. From them were bom Fathers, and from them all 
things were created, 

4. Three Mothers. AMSh, in the Universe are breath, water and fire. 
The heavens were created from fire 1 the earth was created from 
water, and the air from breath decides between them, 

5. Three Mothers, AMSh. in the Year are the hot. the cold, and the 
temperate, The hot was created from fire* the cold from water, and 
the temperate from breath decides between them. 

6. Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Saul are the head, the bdty and the 
chest. The head was created from fire, the belly was created from 
water, and the chest from breath decides between them. 

7. Three Mothers, AMSh; He engraved them, carved them, permuted 
them, and seated with them three Mothers, AMSh, m the Universe, 
three Mothers, AMSh, in the Year, and three Mothers, AMSh, in the 
Soul, male and female. 

8. He made the letter Alef king over breath, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them formed air in the Uni¬ 
verse, the temperate in the Year, and the chest in the Soul, male and 
female. 

He made the letter Mem king over water, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another and with them formed the earth in the 
Universe* the cold in the Year, and the belly in the Soul, male and 
female. 

He made the letter Shin king over fire, bound a crown to it, per¬ 
muted one with another, and with them formed the heavens in the 
Universe, the hot in the Year, and the head in the Soul male and 
female, 

9. How did He form them? AMSh AShM. MASh MShA. ShAM 
SbMA. The heaven is fire, the air is breath, and the earth is water. 
Man's head is fire, his belly is water, and his heart is breath, 

10. Three Mothers AMSh. With Alef He formed breath, air. the tem¬ 
perate, the chest, the tongue of decree between them. 

With Mem: water, earth, the cold, the belly, the pan of merit. 
With Shin: fire, heaven, the hot, the head, the pan of liability. 
This is AMSh. 


Chapter 4 


I. Seven Doubles, BGD K.PRT: Their foundation is life, peace, wis¬ 
dom, wealth, seed, grace, and dominance, They function with two 




Appendix / 


275 


tongues, the doubling of opposites: B Bh, G Gh, D Dh, K Kh, P Ph, 
R Rh. T Th. A structure of soft and hard, strong and weak. 

These are the opposites: The opposite of wisdom is foolishness, 
the opposite of wealth is poverty, the opposite of seed is desolation, 
the opposite of life is death, the opposite of dominance is subjuga¬ 
tion. the opposite of peace is war, the opposite of grace is ugliness, 

2, Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT; Seven and not six, seven and not 
eight. They parallel the six ribs and the six orders, and the Holy Pal¬ 
ace is precisely in the center. "Blessed be the glory of God front His 
Place” (Ezekiel 3:12), He is the place of the universe, and the uni¬ 
verse is not His place. 7 And He supports them all. 

3, Seven Doubles. BGD KPRT of foundation: He engraved them., 
caned them, permuted them, weighed them, transformed them, and 
with them He formed seven planets in the Universe, seven days in 
the Year, and seven gates in the Soul, seven and seven- 

4, How did He permute them? Two stones build two houses, three 
stones build six houses, four stones build 24 houses, five stones build 
120 houses, six stones build 720 houses, seven stones build 5040 
houses. From there on go out and calculate that which the mouth 
cannot speak and the car cannot hear. 

5, He made the letter Bet king over wisdom, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them He formed Saturn in the 
Universe, the Sabbath in the Year, and the mouth in the Soul, male 
and female. 

6, He made the letter Gimei king over wealth, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them He formed Jupiter in the 
Universe, Sunday in the Year, and the right eye in the Soul male 
and female- 

7, He made the letter Dakt king over seed bound a crown to it, permuted 
one with another, and with them He formed Mars in the Universe. Mon¬ 
day in the Year, and the left eye in the Soul male and female- 

8, He made the teller Kaf king over life, bound a crown to it, per¬ 
muted one with another, and with them He formed the Sun in the 
Universe, Tuesday in the Year, and the right nostril in the Soul male 
and female. 

9, He made the letter Peh king over dominance, bound a crown to 
it, permuted one with another, and with them He formed Venus in 
the Universe, Wednesday in the Year, and the left nostril in the Soul, 
male and female. 


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JO. He made the letter Resh king over peace, bound a crown to it, 
permuted one with another, and with them He formed Mercury in 
the Universe, Thursday in the Year and the right ear in the Soul, 
male and female, 

11* He made the letter Tflv king over grace, bound a crown to it, per¬ 
muted one with another, and with them He formed the Moon in the 
Universe, Friday in the Year, and the left ear in the Soul male and 
female. 

And with them He engraved seven firmaments, seven earths, 
seven seas, seven rivers, seven deserts, seven days, seven weeks, 
seven years, seven sabbaticals, seven jubilees, and the Holy Palace, 
He therefore engraved the seventh for every desire under the 
heavens. 

12, Seven planets in the Universe arc: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, 
Venus* Mercury, Moon. 

Seven days in the Year are the seven day? of the week, 

Seven gates in the Soul male and female, arc the two eyes, two 
ears, two nostrils* and the mouth. 

13, Seven firmaments are Vilon, Rakia, Shechakim, Zevul* Ma’on, 
Machon, and Aravot. 

Seven earths arc Adamah, Tevd, Neshiyah, Tziyah, Chalad* 
Eretz, Gai. 

And He made each one stand alone: The Universe alone, the 
Soul alone* and the Year alone, 

14, Seven Doubles BGD KPRT: 

With Bet He formed Saturn, the Sabbath* the mouth, life and 
death. 

With Gimel He formed Jupiter* Sunday, the right eye* peace and 
eviL* 

With Dalet He formed Mars, Monday* the left eye* wisdom and 
foolishness. 

With Kaf He formed the Sun. Tuesday, the nghi nostril, wealth 
and poverty, 

Wilh Peh He formed Venus* Wednesday, the left nostril, seed and 
desolation. 

With Resh He formed Mercury, Thursday* the right ear* grace 
and ugliness. 

With Tav He formed the Moon, Friday* the left ear, dominance 
and subjugation. 

These arc BGD KPRT. 




Appendix 1 


277 


Chapter 5 

1. Twelve Elementals* HV ZCh TY LN SOTiQ: Their foundation is 
sight, hearing, smell, speech, taste, coition, motion, anger, Laughter, 
thought, joy, and sleep. 

2, Twelve Elemental** HV ZCh TV LN SOTzQ: Their foundation is 
twelve and not eleven, twelve and not thirteen. The twelve diagonal 
boundaries peel off as six orders divided between each direction: the 
eastern upper boundary, the eastern northern boundary* the eastern 
lower boundary; the southern upper boundary, the southern eastern 
boundary, the southern lower boundary; the western upper boundary* 
the western southern boundary, the western lower boundary; the 
northern upper boundary, the northern western boundary, the north¬ 
ern lower boundary. They continuously spread until eternity of eter¬ 
nities* and it is they that are the Heights of the Universe. 

4. Twelve Elemenials, HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ: He engraved them, 
carved them, permuted them, weighed them, transposed them, and 
with them He formed twelve constellations in the Universe, twelve 
months in the Year* and twelve directors in the Soul, male and 
female. Two rejoice (OLZ), two slander {LOZ) t two advise ( YOTi}, 
two rejoice ( OLTz ), And they are the korkebatt. the teeth* the two 
hands and the two feet. He made them like a controversy, he 
arranged them like a war, one opposite the other. 

5. Seven: Three opposite three, and one deciding bctiveen them. 

And twelve stand in war Three allies* three enemies, three 
lifegi vers, and three killers. 

Three allies are the heart, the ears and the eyes. Three enemies 
are the liver* the gall* and the tongue. Three lifegivers are the two 
nostrils and the spleen. Three killers are the two orifices and the 
mouth. And God faithful King dominates them all from His holy 
Dwelling until eternity of eternities. 

6. One over three, three over seven, seven over twelve. All of them 
are attached, one to the other. And a sign for this is the twenty-two 
objects and one body. 

7. And these are the twelve directors: iwo hands, two feet, two kid¬ 
neys, the liver, the gall* the spleen, the hemsess, the korkeban, and 
the kivah. 

8. He made the letter Heh king over speech* bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Aries in 
the Universe, Nissan in the Year* and the liver in the Soul, male and 
female, 



in 


5EFER YETZIRAH 


9. He made ihe letier Vav king over thought, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Taurus 
in the Universe, lyar in the Year and the gall bladder in the Soul 
male and female, 

10. He made lhc letter Zayin king over motion, bound a crown to ii t 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Gemini 
in the Universe, Sivan in the Year, and the spleen in the Soul male 
and female. 

11. He made the letter Chet king over sight, bound a crown to it r 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Cancer 
in the Universe, Tamua in the Year, and the hemsess in the Soul, 
male and female. 

12. He made the letter Tet king over hearing, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Leo in 
the Universe. Av in the Year, and the right kidney in the Soul, male 
and female, 

13. He made the letter Yud king over action, bound a crown to it* 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Virgo 
in the Universe, Elul in the Year, and the left kidney in the Soul, 
male and female. 

14. He made the letier Lamed king over coition, bound a crown to 
it, permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Libra 
in the Universe, Tishrei in the Year, and the korkehan in the Soul, 
male and female. 

15. He made the letter Nun king over smell, bound a crown to it* 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Scorpio 
in the Universe. Cheshvan in the Year, and the kivah in the Soul, 
male and female, 

16. He made the letter Samekh king over sleep, bound a crown to it. 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Sagittar¬ 
ius in the Universe, Kislev in the Year, and the right hand in the 
Soul, male and female, 

I 7 r He made the letter Eyin king over anger, bound a crown to it, 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Capri¬ 
corn in the Universe, Tevet in the Year, and the left hand in the Soul, 
male and female. 

18. He made the letter Tzadi king over taste, bound a crown to it* 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Aquar¬ 
ius in the Universe, Shevat in the Year, and the right foot in the Soul, 
male and female. 


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im 


19. He made the letter Kuf king over Laughter bound a crown to it* 
permuted them one with another, and with them He formed Pisces 
in the Universe, Adar in the Year and the left foot in the Soul, male 
and female. 

20. He divided the witnesses and made each one stand alone: the 
Universe alone, the Year alone, and the Soul alone> 

21. Twelve Elemental: HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ; 

With Heh He formed Aries, Nissan, the liver, sight and 
blindness. 

V/ith Vav He formed Taurus, lyar. the gall, hearing and 
deafness. 

With Zayin He formed Gemini, Sivan, the spleen, smell and the 
inability to smell. 

With Chet He formed Cancer, Tamuz. the hemsess t speech and 
dumbness. 

With Tet He formed Leo, Av, the right kidney, taste and 
hunger. 

With Yud He formed Virgo. Eta I, the left kidney* action and 
paralysis. 

With Lamed He formed Libra, Tishrei. the korkeban, coition and 
impotence. 

With Nun He formed Scorpio, Mar-cheshvan, the fdva, motion 
and lameness. 

With Samekh He formed Sagittarius, Kislev, the right hand, 
anger and lack of liver. 

With Eyin He formed Capricorn, Tevet, the left hand, laughter 
and the lack of spleen. 

With Tzadi He formed Aquarius She vat, the right foot, thought 
and the lack of heart. 

With K.uf He formed Pisces, Adar, the left foot, sleep and 
insomnia. 

These are the twelve Elemental. HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. And 
all of them are attached to the Tell, the Cycle, and the Heart 

Chapter 6 

L Three Mothers. AMSh; seven Doubles. BGD KPRT; twelve Ele- 
mentals* HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ, These are the twenty-two fetters 
with which formed YH YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living 
God, EL ShadtfaL high and exalted, dwelling in eternity, and Has name 
is Holy. 


iqhled material 



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“YH YHVH - — two (divine) Names, 

“Of Hosts" (Trava^Because He is a sign (*tf) in His host 
( Tzava}* 

"God of Israel" (FS/SELj-A prince ( SaR ) before God (EL). 
“The Living GorT—Three arc called “living": the Living God. 
living waters, and the tree of life. 

“EP—is harsh. 

“Shaddai"—Because (He decreed): Unlit here is enough ( dai ). ,fl 
“High"—Because He sits in the height of the universe, and is 
high above alt the high. 

"Exalted" (Msah-because He supports (nosa) and sustains those 
on high and below. Ail that support arc on the bottom, with their 
burden below them, but He is on top T and His burden is below him. 
He supports and sustains the entire Universe. 

“He dwells in eternity"—Because His kingdom exists for eternity 
of eternities, without interruption, 

"Holy is His Name"—Because He is holy* His ministers are holy, 
and to Him they say, "Holy, holy, holy" (Isaiah 6:3), 

2, Twelve below, seven over them, and three over seven. From the 
three He founded His abode. And all of them hang from One and 
stand on it. And a sign of One, He has no second. 51 He rules alone 
in His universe, for He is One, and His name is One. 11 

3, Three Fathers and their progeny, seven subduers and their host* 
twelve diagonal boundaries. A proof of this, trusted witnesses, are the 
Universe, the Year, and the Soul. 

4, The Sefirot of the Universe are ten and twelve: fine, breath, water, 
seven planets, and twelve constellations. 

The Sefirot of the Year are ten and twelve: cold, hot, temperate, 
seven days, and twelve months, 

The Sefirot of the Soul are ten and twelve: the head, chest, belly, 
seven gates, and twelve directors. 

5, A rule of ten, three, seven and twelve, and He appointed them in 
the Tell, the Cycle, and the Heart, The Teh in the universe is like a 
king on his throne, the Cycle in the Year is like a king in the province, 
and the Heart in the Soul is like a king in battle. 

6, The general rule is this: Some of these combine with others, and 
some are the transpose of others. Some are opposite of others, and 
others arc the opposite of these. If some exist, others do not. and if 
others exist, these do not. And all of them are attached to the Tell, 
the Cycle and the Heart. 

7, Also ever> r desire* “God made one opposite the other" (Ecclesiastes 
7:14). Good opposite evil, and evil opposite good. Good from good. 





AppmdLx l 


3flt 


and e \it from evil. Good discerns evil, and evil discerns good. Good 
is stored away for the good, and evil is stored away for the wicked. 

EL And when Abraham our fatter, of blessed memory, came, he looked, 
saw. probed, understood, engraved, carved, permuted, formed, and 
thought, and he was successful The Lord of all may His name be blessed 
for eternity, revealed Himself to him* kissed him on the head, and called 
him, "Abraham My friend" (Isaiah 41:8), He made a covenant with him 
and his seed forever, "And he believed in God, and He considered it 
righteousness" (Genesis 15:6). The Gk>ry of God was decreed upon him, 
as it is written, "Before I formed you in the womb, J knew 1 you" (Jeremiah 
1:5k He made a covenant between the ten fingers of his hands, and this 
is the Holy Tongue (the Hebrew language). He bound the twenty-two let¬ 
ters on his tongue, and the Blessed Holy One revealed to him their mys¬ 
tery. He drew them in water, ignited them with fine, agitated them with 
breath, burned them with the seven planets, and directed them with the 
twelve constellations, 

9. Heaven tire heat head. Air breath temperate chest. Earth water 
cold belly. This is AMSh, 

10. Saturn Sabbath mouth, Jupiter Sunday right eye. Mars Monday 
left eye. Sun Tuesday right nostril. Venus Wednesday left nostil. Mer¬ 
cury Thursday right ear. Moon Friday left ear. This is BGD K.FRT. 

11. And these are the twelve constellations: Aries Nissan liver sight 
blindness. Taurus lyar gall hearing deafness. Gemini Sivan spleen, 
smell inability to smell. Cancer Tamm hemsess speech dumbness. 
Leo Av right kidney taste hunger. Virgo EIul left kidney action paral¬ 
ysis. Libra Tishrci h>rkeban coition impotence. Scorpio Mar¬ 
ches hvan kivah motion lameness. Sagittarius Kislev right hand anger 
lack of liver, Capricorn Tent left hand laughter lack of spleen, 
Aquarius She vat right foot thought lack of heart, Pisces Adar left foot 
sleep insomnia. This is HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ, 

12. Three enemies are the tongue, the liver, the gall. Three allies are the 
eyes, the ears, the heart. Three liregivers are the teeth, the nose, and the 
spleen. Three killers are the two lower orifices and the mouth. 

13. Three not in one's control are his eyes, his ears and his nose. 
Three good sounds to the ear are a blessing, good news* praise. Three 
bad sights to the eye are an aduitrc&s, and evil eye, a roving eye, 13 
Three good sights are humility, u good eye f a true eye. Three evil to 
the tongue are slander, talebearing, saying one thing with the mouth 
and another in the heart. Three good for the tongue are silence, 
watching the tongue, and true speech. 



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Appendix l 


285 


Chapter 1 

1. With thirty-two mystical Paths of Wisdom engraved YH, YHVH 
of Hosts. God of Israel, the Living God, El Shadai, high and exalted, 
dwelling in eternity and Holy is His name. He created Hts universe 
with three books, with script, number and idling. Ten Sefirot of 
Nothingness, twenty-two letters: three Basics, 14 seven Doubles, 
twelve Elemental*. 

2. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness, like the number of ten fingers, five 
opposite five, with a unitary covenant directly in the middle, as the 
circumcision of the tongue and mouth. Their measure is ten which 
have no end: A depth of beginning and a depth of end. a depth oT 
good and a depth of evil, a depth of above and a depth below, a depth 
east and a depth west, a depth north and a depth south. And the uni¬ 
tary' Master. God faithful King. dominates them all from His holy 
abode, until eternity of eternities. 

3. Twenty-two letters, a foundation of three Basics, seven Doubles, 
and twelve Element ah. 

The three Basics are AMSh. Their foundation is a pan of merit, 
a pan of liability, and the tongue of decree deciding between them. 

The seven Doubles are BCD KPRT. Their foundation is life and 
peace, wisdom and wealth, seed, grace and dominance. 

The twelve Elemental are HVZChTYLNSOTzQ, Their founda¬ 
tion is sight, hearing, smell, speech, taste, coition, action and motion, 
haughtiness, laughter, thought, and sleep. 

4. Through them Y'H, YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living 
God, El Shadai, High and Exalted, dwelling on high and Holy is 
His name, engraved three Fathers and their progeny, seven direc¬ 
tors and their host, and twelve diagonal boundaries, A proof of 
this, true witnesses are the Universe, Year and Soul, a tuIc of ten, 
three, seven and twelve. He appointed them in theTeli, Cycle and 
Heart. 


Chapter 2 


[. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. 
Understand with Wisdom, and be wise with Lin demanding. Discern 
with them, probe from them, and know, think and depict. Stand a 
thing on its essence, and make the Creator sit on His basis. And their 
measure is ten which have no end. Their vision is like an appearance 


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SEFER VET7.1 RAH 


2M 

of lightning. and their limit has no end. His word in them “runs and 
returns." they pursue His saying like a whirlwind, and before His 
throne they prostrate themselves. 

2, Twenty-two letters are a foundation of three Basics, seven Dou¬ 
bles. and twelve Elemental. The three Basics. AMSh. are a great, 
concealed, mystical exalted secret, from which emanates fire, 
breath and wateT* from which everything was created. The seven 
Doubles function with two tongues: Bei Bbel 13 Gimel Gh Intel 
Dalel Dhalel. Kaf Khaf, Peh Pheh, Resh Rhesh, Tav Thav, Hard 
and soft, they are strong and weak structures. They are doubles 
because they are opposites. The opposite of life is death, the oppo¬ 
site of peace is evil the opposite of wisdom is foolishness, the 
opposite of wealth is poverty, the opposite of seed is desolation, 
the opposite of grace is ugliness, the opposite of dominance is 
subjugation. 

3, Seven Doubles, BCD KPRT: Seven and not six, seven and not 
eight. Six libs for six orders* with the Holy Palace precisely in the 
center. Blessed by God from His place. His is the place of the uni¬ 
verse, and the universe is not His place, 

4, Twelve Eiememals: Twelve and not eleven* twelve and not thir¬ 
teen. The twelve diagonals peel off to six orders, separating between 
one direction and another an east north boundary, an east upper 
boundary , and east tower boundary: a north west boundary* a north 
upper boundary; a north lower boundary; a west south boundary, a 
west upper boundary, a west lower boundary; a south east boundary, 
a south upper boundary, a south lower boundary; 

5, With them YH n YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the living God, 
El Shad&l High and Exalted* dwelling on high and Holy is His 
name, engraved twenty-two letters and set them in the Sphere. He 
oscillated the Sphere back and forth, and the Sphere (continues 
to) oscillate back and forth. As a sign of ibis* there is nothing 
higher than delight { ONQ }* and there is nothing more evil than 
plague (NGO). 

6, Proof of this, trustworthy witnesses, are the Universe. Year and 
Soul. The Sefirot of the Universe are ten; three are fire 5 breath and 
water: seven are the seven planets; twelve are the twelve constella¬ 
tions. The Sefirot of the Year are ten; three are the cold, the hot and 
the temperate; seven are the seven days of creation; twelve are the 
twelve Eunar months. The Sefirot of the Soul are ten; three are the 
head, chest and belly; seven are the seven gates, twelve are the twelve 
directors. 




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Appendix / 


287 


Chapter 3 

L Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Bridle your mouth from speaking; bri¬ 
dle your heart from thinking. And if your heart runs, return to the 
place, for it is written, “running and returning.* Regarding this a cov¬ 
enant was made. And their measure is ten which have no end. Their 
end is imbedded in their beginning, and their beginning in their end, 
like a flame attached to a burning coal. Know, think and depict that 
the Creator is One, there is no other, and before One what do you 
count? 

2 , The twenty-two letters are a foundation of three Basics, seven Dou¬ 
bles, and twelve Elemental. The three Basics, AMSh, are fire, breath 
and water. The offspring of heaven is fire, the offspring of air is 
breath, and the offspring of earth is water. Fire is above, water is 
below, and breath is the decree that decides between them. Mem 
hums. Shin hisses, and Alef is the decree deciding between them. 
AMSh is sealed with six rings and cocooned 36 in male and female. 
Know, think and depict that fire upholds water, 

3, The seven Doubles, BCD KPRT, function wuh two tongues; Bei 
Shci. Gimel Ghimel, Dalet Dhaiet, Kaf Khaf, Peh Pheh. Resh Rhesh, 
Tav Thav, They are soft and hard, a structure that is strong and weak. 
They are doubled because they are opposites. The opposite of life is 
death, the opposite of peace is evil, the opposite of wisdom is folly, 
the opposite of wealth is poverty, the opposite of seed is desolation, 
the opposite of grace is ugliness, and the opposite of dominance is 
subjugation. 

4, The twelve Elemental are HVZChTYLHSOTiQ, He engraved 
them, carved them, permuted them, weighed them and transformed 
them. How did He permute them? Two stones build two houses, 
three build six houses, four build 24 houses, five build 120 houses, 
six build 720 houses, seven build 5040 houses. From there on go out 
and calculate that which the mouth cannot speak and the ear cannot 
hear. 

5, With these Yah, YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living God, 
EE ShaddaL High and Exalted, dwelling in eternity on high and holy 
is His name, engraved. 

YaH: is two names. 

YHVH is four names. 

Hosts: (Tzavaot) means that He is a sign (of) in His host 
(tzava )l 

Israel: He is a prince (w) before God {El), 


TIC 


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SEFER YETZIRAH 


m 


El Shaddai: El is hard. Shaddai indicates that until here it is 
enough {dai\. 

High: because He sits in the height of the universe, and is high 
above all the high. 

Exalted: because He upholds and sustains those on high and 
below. All others who carry something are on the bottom and their 
burden is above them, but He is on top, and His burden is below 
Him* He upholds and sustains the entire umverse. 

Dwelling in Eternity: because His kingdom exists for eternity of 
eternities without interruption. 

And Holy is His Name: Because He is holy, his ministers are 
holy, and to Him they proclaim, ‘‘Holy, holy, holy.™ 

6 t Proof of this, trustworthy witnesses, are the Universe, Year and 
Soul, Twelve are below, seven are above them, and three are above 
the seven. From these three He founded His abode, and all of them 
depend on One. As a sign, this is a One that has no second. He is a 
singular King in His universe, where He is One and His name is One. 


Chapter 4 


1. Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God. 
Life of worlds. His throne is established from eternity, blessed and 
benedicted is His name, constantly, forever and ever. This is the Holy 
Breath {Ruach HaKodesh), 

2. Two: Breath from Breath. With it He engraved and carved four 
directions (breaths) of heaven: cast, west, north, and south, And there 
is a breath in each one of them. 

3. The twenty-two letters are a foundation consisting of three Basics, 
seven Doubles, and twelve Element a Is, The letters are carved with 
Breath, engraved with voice, and set in the mouth in five places: 
AHChO, BVMP, GYKQ. DTLNTh, ZSTzRSh. AHChO is pro¬ 
nounced with the base of the tongue and the throat. BVMP is pro¬ 
nounced between the lips and with the tip of the tongue, GYKQ uti¬ 
lizes the first third of the tongue, DTLNTh is pronounced with half 
the tongue and the voice. ZSTzRSh is pronounced between the teeth 
with the tongue sleeping. 

4. The twenty-two letters: He engraved them, caned them, permuted 
them, weighed them, transformed them, and from them He formed 
all that was ever formed and all that would ever be formed. How did 
He permute them? Alef with them all and all of them with Alef: Bet 



Appendix / 




with them all. and all of them with Bet; GimeJ with them all* and all 
of them with GimeL All of them oscillate cyclically, and emerge 
through 231 Gates, As a result, everything spoken and everything 
formed emerges as one Name. 

5, He formed substance from chaos, and made that which was not 
into that which is. He carved great pillars from air that cannot he 
grasped, 

6, Three: water from breath, With it He engraved and carved chaos 
and void, clay and mire. He made them like a garden plot. He carved 
them like a wall, and He decked them like a ceiling. He poured water 
on them, and it became dust, as it is written* “For to snow He said, 
become earth" (Job 37:6). Chaos is the azure line that surrounds the 
universe. Void consists of the split stones imbedded in the abyss, 
from between which water emerges* It is thus written. “He spread 
over it a line of Chaos and stones of Void" (Isaiah 34:11). 

7, Four: fire from water. With it He engraved and carved the Throne 
of Glory and all the host on high. It is thus written. “He makes His 
angds of breaths, and His ministers of flaming fire” (Psalms 
104:4). 

8, He chose three Eleinentals. and set them in His great name. And 
with them He scaled the six. directions. 

He sealed “above," faced upward, and sealed it with YHV. 

Six: He scaled “below," faced downward, and sealed it with 
YVR 

Seven: He sealed east, faced forward, and sealed it with HVY. 

Eight: He sealed west, faced backward, and sealed it with 
HYV. 

Nine: He sealed south* faced to His right, and sealed it with 
VYH. 

Ten: He sealed north, faced to His left, and sealed it with 
VHY, 

These are the Ten Sefirot of Nothingness. One is the Breath of 
the Living God, two is breath from Breath, three is water from 
breath, four is fire from water: above and below, east and west, north 
and south. 


Chapter 5 


!. He made Alef king over breath, bound a crown to it, permuted 
one with another, and with it He formed air in the Universe* the lem- 



290 


5EFFR VETZtRAH 


pcratc in the Year, and the chest in the Soul, male and female The 
male with AMSh* and the female with ASbM, 

2, He made Mem king over water, bound a crown to it, permuted 
one with another, and with it He formed earth in the Universe, the 
cold in the Year, and the belly in the Soul. 

3. He made Shin king over fire, bound a crown to it, permuted one 
with another, and with it He formed heaven in Universe* the hot in 
the Year, and the head in the soul, 

As male and female, how did He permute them? AMSh AShM* 
MShA MASh, ShAM SbMA. Heaven U fire, air is breath, earth is 
water. Man’s head is fire, his heart is breath, and his belly is water. 

4, The seven Doubles are BGD K.PRT. He engraved them, carved 
them, permuted them, weighed them, and transformed them. With 
them He formed planets, days and gates. 

5. He made Bel king, bound a crown to it* permuted them one with 
another* and with it He formed Saturn in the Universe, the Sabbath 
in the Year, and the mouth in the Soul 

6* He made Gimd king bound a crown to it* permuted them one 
wiih another, and with it He formed Jupiter in the Universe* Sunday 
in the Year, and the right eye in the Soul 

7. He made Dalet king, bound a crown to it* permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed Mars in the Universe, Monday an the 
Year, and the left eye in the Soul, 

8. He made Kaf king, bound a crown to it* permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed the Sun in the Universe* Tuesday in 
the Year* and the right nostril in the Souh 

9. He made Peh king, bound a crown to it. permuted them one with 
another, and with it He formed Venus in the Universe, Wednesday 
in the Year, and the left nostril in the Soul, 

10. He made Resh king, bound a crown to it, permuted them one 
with another, and with it He formed the Star of the Sun {Mercury)*' 
in the Universe. Thursday in the Year, and the right ear in the 
Soul. 

H, He made Tav king, bound a crown to it* permuted them one with 
another* and with it He formed Moon in the Universe, Friday in the 
Year, and the left ear in the Soul. 

12* He separated the witnesses and stood them alone, one by one; the 
Universe alone, the Year alone, and the Soul alone. 


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291 


Chapter 6 

L The twelve Elemental* are HVZChTYLNSOTaQ, He engraved 
them, carved them. permuted them, weighed them and transformed 
them, and with them He formed constellations, months and direo 
tors. Two are extreme, two stabilize, two advise, and two rejoice. 
They are the korkehans'* the two bands, and the two feet. He made 
them like a dispute, and arranged them like a battle, “And God made 
one opposite another” (Ecclesiastes 7; 14). 

2, Three: each one is alone. Seven are divided, three against three, 
with one as the decree deciding between them. Twelve; twelve stand 
in war, three allies, three enemies, three killers, and three lifegivers. 
All of them are attached, one to another. A sign of this is twenty-two 
objects and one body. 

3, How did He permute them? HV VH. ZCh ChZ, TY YT, LN NL, 
SO OS T TzQ QTz, 

4, He made Heft king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Aries in the Universe, Nissan in the 
Year, and the liver in the Soul* 

5, He made Vav king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Taurus in the Universe, lyar in the 
Year, and the gall bladder in the Soul. 

6, He made Zayin king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with il He formed Gemini in the Universe* Si van in the 
Year, and the spleen in the Soul 

7, He made Chet king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Cancer in the Universe, Tamuz in 
the Year, and the mesess in the Soul. 

8, He made Tei king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Leo in the Universe. Av in the Yean 
and the right kidney in the Soul. 

9, He made Yud king* bound a crown to it* permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Virgo in the Universe, Elu! in the 
Year, and the left kidney in the Soul. 

10, He made Lamed king, bound a crown to ii t permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Libra in the Universe, Tisnei in the 
Year, and the korkeban in the Soul, 


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SEFER YETZIRAH 


£ L He made Nun king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with il He formed Scorpio in the Uni vent, Cheshvan 
in the Year, and the kivah in the Sou!. 

J2, He made Samekh king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another and with it He formed Sagittarius in 1 he Universe, Kislev 
in the Year, and the right hand in the Soul 

13, He made Eyin kmg, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Capricorn in the Universe, Ttvet in 
the Year, and the left hand in the Sou!. 

14. He made Tzadi king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another, and with it He formed Aquarius in the Universe. She vat in 
the Year, and the right foot in the Soul. 

15. He made Kaif king, bound a crown to it, permuted one with 
another and with it He formed Pisces in the Universe, Adar in the 
Y'ear. and the left foot in the SouL 

16, He separated the witnesses and stood each one alone: the Uni¬ 
verse alone, the Year alone, and the Soul alone. 

Chapter 7 


1. Air, temperate, chest, Earth, cold, belly. Heaven* hot, head. And 
this is AMSh. 

2. Saturn, Sabbath, mouth. Jupiter, Sunday* right eye. Mars, Monday* 
left eye. Sun. Tuesday, right nostril. Venus. Wednesday; left nostril. 
Sun Star (Mercury), Thursday, right ear. Moon, Friday, left ear. And 
this is BCD KPRT, 

3. Aries* Nissan, liver Taurus, lyar. gall bladder. Gemini, Sivatt, 
spleen. Cancer, Tamuz. mesete. Leo, Av, right kidney, Viigo^ Elul, 
left kidney. Libra. Tishrei, korkefwn. Scorpio, Mar-cheshvan, kivah. 
Sagittarius, Kislev, nght hand. Capricorn, Tevct, left hand. Aquarius, 
Sbevat, right foot Pisces. Adar, left foot. And these are H V Z Ch T 
Y LNSOTzQ. 


Chapter 8 


I. With Alef He formed these: breath, air. temperate, chest* and the 
tongue of decree. With Mem He formed these: water, earth, cold. 


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Appendix / 


m 

belly, and the pan of liability. With Shin He formed these: fire, 
heaven, hot, head, and the pan of merit 

2. With Bet He formed these: Saturn, Sabbath, mouth, life and death. 
With Gimcl He formed these: Jupiter. Sunday, right eye, peace and 
evil. With Dale! He formed these: Mars, Monday, left eye. wisdom 
and foolishness. With Kaf He formed these: Sun, Tuesday, right nos¬ 
tril, wealth and poverty. With Peh He formed these: Venus, Wednes¬ 
day, left nostril, seed and desolation. With Resh He formed these: 
Sun Star (Mercury), Thursday, right ear, grace and ugliness. With Tav 
He formed these: Moon, Friday, left ear. dominance and 
subjugation. 

3. With Heh He formed these: Aries, Nissan, liven sight and blind¬ 
ness. With Vav He formed these: Taurus, lyar T gall bladder, hearing 
and deafness. With Zayirt He formed these: Gemini, Sivan, spleen, 
smell and inability to smell. With Chet He formed these: Cancer* 
Tamuz. rtiesess, speech and dumbness. With Tel He formed these: 
Leo. Ay, right kidney, taste and hunger. With Yud He formed these: 
Virgo* Elul, left kidney, coition and castration. W r iih Lamed He 
formed these: Libra. Tishrei. korkeban, action and paralysis. With 
Nun He formed these: Scorpio, Cheshvart* kivah, motion and lame¬ 
ness, With Samekh He formed these: Sagittarius, Kisiev, right hand* 
anger and lack of liver. With Eyin He formed these: Capricorn* 
Tevet, left hand, laughter and lack of spleen, W'ith Tzadi He formed 
these: Aquarius, Shevat. right foot* thought and lack of heart, where 
it is not. With Kyf He formed these: Pisces, Adar. left foot, sleep* 
dead and gone* 

4. And all of them arc attached to the Teli. Cycle and Kean, Tdi in 
the Universe is tike on a throne, Cycle in the Year is like a king in 
the province, Heart in the body is like a king in battle* The general 
rule is this. Some permute with others, and others permute with 
these* Some are with others, and others are with these. Some are the 
opposite of others, and others are the opposite of these. Some are the 
parallel of others, and others arc the parallel of these* If not some* 
then not others: and if not others, then not these. And all of them 
are attached to the Telt, the Cycle* and the Heart. 

5. And When Abraham our father understood, formed, permuted* 
probed, thought and was successful, the Blessed Holy One revealed 
Himself to him. declaring to him, ‘'Before! formed you in the womb* 
I knew you, and before and emerged from the womb* 1 sanctified you. 
I have made you a prophet for the nations* 4 (Jeremiah 1:5). He made 
him His friend, and made a cgvenent with him and his children for¬ 
ever and until eternity. 



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APPENDIX II 
The Thirty-TWo Paths 
of Wisdom 

The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom are presented as different states of 
consciousness. This presentation most probably dates from the 
Oaonic period (7th-10th centuries}, and is found in a number of 
Kabbalislic texts,* These states are also related to the 32 times where 
God's name appears in the first chapter of Genesis, 


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Appendix ft 


297 


The Thirty-Two Paths 
of Wisdom 


L Mystical Consciousness {Sekhel Mufla), This is the Light that was 
originally conceived, and it is the First Glory. 2 No creature can attain 
its excellence. 

2, Radian t Consciousness {Sekhel Maz'hir). This is the Crown of cre¬ 
ation and the radiance of the homogeneous unity that “exalts itself 
above all as the Head." 1 The masters of Kabbalah call it the Second 
Glory, 

3, Sanctified Consciousness {Sekhel MeKudash). This is the founda¬ 
tion of the Original Wisdom, and it is called “Faithful Faith." 4 Its 
roots are AMeM. It is the father of faith, and from its power faith 
emerges. 

4, Settled Consciousness (Sekhel Kavua). It is called this because all 
the spiritual powers emanate from it as the [most] ethereal of emana¬ 
tions, One emanates from the other through the power of the original 
Emanator. may He be blessed. 5 

3. Rooted Consciousness (Sekhel Nishmsh ), It is called this because 
it is the essence of the homogeneous Unity. It is unified in the essence 
of Understanding, w hich emanates from the domain of the Original 
Wisdom. 

6, Transcendental Influx Consciousness (Sekhel Shefa Nivdal). It is 
called this because through it the influx of Emanation ( Atzihtt ) 
increases itself, it bestows this influx on all blessings, which unify 
themselves in its essence. 

7, Hidden Consciousness (Sekhel Nistar)* It is called this because it 
is the radiance that illuminates the transcendental powers that are 
seen with the mind’s eye and with the reverie of Faith, 6 

5, Perfect Consciousness (Sekhel Shalem}. It is called this because it 
is the Original Arrangement, There is no root through which it can 
be pondered, except through the chambers of Greatness, which ema¬ 
nate from the essence of its permanence. 

9, Pure Consciousness (Sekhel Tahor). It is called this because it puri¬ 
fies the Sefirot. It tests the decree of their structure and the inner 
essence of their unity, making it glow. They are then unified without 
any cutoff or separation. 

10, Scintillating Consciousness (Sekhel MuNmzetz). It is called this 
because it elevates itself and sits on the throne of Understanding. It 


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2<JS 


SEKER YEfZIftAH 


shine!; with the radiance of ail the luminaries, and it bestows an 
influx of increase to the Prince of the Face 

11. Glaring Consciousness (Sekhel McTzuehtzach). It is called this 
because it is the essence of the Veil which is ordered in the arrange¬ 
ment of the system. It indicates the relationship of the Paths frtemor) 
whereby one can stand before the Cause of Causes. 

12. Glowing Consciousness {Sekhel Bahir). It is called this because it 
is the essence of the Ophan-wheel of Greatness,* It is called the Visa- 
alizer (Chazchazit), the place which gives rise to the vision that the 
Seers perceive in an apparition. 9 

13. Unity Directing Consciousness {Sekhel Manhig HaAchditi). It is 
called this because it is the essence of the Glory. 11 It represents the 
completion of the true essence of the unified spiritual beings. 

] 4. Illuminating Consciousness {SekhelMeir). It is called this because 
it is the essence of the Speaking Silence [Chashmaf). 11 it gives instruc¬ 
tion regarding the mysteries of the holy secrets and their structure, 

15, Stabilizing Consciousness {Sekhel Ma'amid). It is called this 
because it stabilizes the essence of creation in the “Glooms of Pur¬ 
ity.” 13 The masters of theory said that this is the Gloom [at Sinai], 1J 
This is the meaning of T "Gloom is its cocoon"’ {Job 35:9), 14 

16. Enduring Consciousness {Sekhel Nitzchi). It is called this because 
it is the Delight (Eden) of ibe Glory. As it is, there is no Glory lower 
than it. It is called the Garden of Eden, which is prepared for the 
[reward of the] saints. 

17. Consciousness of the Senses {Sekhel NaNergesh% This is prepared 
for the faithful saints so that they should be able to clothe themselves 
in the spirit of holiness. In the arrangement of the supernal Entities, 
it is called the foundation of Beauty [Yesod HaTiferetl 

18, Consciousness of the House of Influx {Sekhel Bel HaShe/a ). By 
probing with it* a secret mystery (rai) and an allusion are transmuted 
to those who "dwell m its shadow^ 11 and bind themselves to probing 
its substance from the Cause of Causes. '* 

19, Consciousness of the Mystery of all Spiritual Activities {Sekhel 
Sod HaPaitiot HaRucfmiot kulam}, Ji is called ibis because of the 
influx ihai permeates it from the highest blessing and the supreme 
GJory. 

20. Consciousness of Will {Sekhel HaRatzon). It is called this because 
it is the structure of all that is formed. Through this state of con¬ 
sciousness one can know ihe essence of the Original Wisdom. 17 



Appendix 11 


2W 

21. Desired and Sought Consciousness (Sekhei HaChafutz 
VeHaMevukash). It is called this because it receives the divine Influx 
so as to bestow its blessing to al] things that exist. 

22. Faithful Consciousness (Sekhei Neeman). It is called this because 
spiritual powers are increased through it, so that they can be close to 
all who '‘dwell in their shadow," 1 * 

22. Sustaining Consciousness (Sekhei Kayam\ It is called ibis 
because it is the sustaining power for ail the Sefirot, 

24. Apparmvc Consciousness (Sekhel Dimyom). It is called this 
because it provides an appearance for all created apparitions, io a 
form fitting their stature. 

25. Testing Consciousness (Sekhel Nisyoni), It is called this because 
it is the original temptation through which God tests all of His 
saints. 

26. Renewing Consciousness (Sekhel MeChudaskl It is called this 
because it is the means through which the Blessed Holy One brings 
about all new things which are brought into being in His creation. 

27. Palpable Consciousness (Sekhei Xfurgash). It is called this because 
the consciousness of all things created under the entire upper sphere* 
as well as all their sensations, were created through it. 

28. Natural Consciousness (Sekhei Mittba). It is called this because 
the nature of all that exist under the sphere of the sun was completed 
through it, 

29. Physical Consciousness (Sekhei Mugsham). It is called this 
because it depicts the growth of everything that becomes physical 
under the system of all the spheres, 

30. Genera! Consciousness (Sekhei Keiaii). It is called this because it 
is the means through which the “genera I tiers of the heavens*' collect 
their rules regarding the stars and constellations, forming the theory 
that comprises their knowledge of the Ophan-w^heels of the spheres, 

31. Continuous Consciousness (Sekhei Tamidi). Why is it called this? 
Because it directs the path of the sun and moon according to their 
laws of nature, each one in its proper orbit. 

32. Worshiped Consciousness (Sekhei Ne'evad), It is called this 
because it is prepared so as to destroy all who engage in the worship 
of the seven planets, 


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APPENDIX III 
THE GATES 


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Appendix III 


503 


The 221 Gates of Rabbi Eliezar 
Rokeach of Wormes 


The tables on pages 3G4-3Q9 are presented here exactly as they 
are primed in the Przemysl edition, (1SS9), of the commentary on 
Sefer Yctzirah. In order to derive the proper arrays from these tables, 
lines containing only eleven letters must be doubled. The other tines, 
which contain twenty-two letters, are left as they are. All the letters 
are then paired into groups of two. One can see how this is done by 
comparing the table for Alef with the array given in diaper 2:4. 

These are the 221 Gates that Rabbi Eliezar prescribes for use in 
creating a Golem. They can also be used from less advanced medita¬ 
tive exercises. When utilizing any letter, the appropriate army most 
be u&cd- 


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;uu 


Array for Akf 

For Bei 

Tlrpftptefn ’otttnujK 

ten ?npy bj?dj LbaWl rrr 13 

v pd do 3D rr 

myys b*m na 

nsDnnatfyDbau np vo't in 

py obons nppo nnsnsjarr na 

pu 11 PB 20 TW 

nyb m nr:" 13 

yons np'n raStapjenv ya x 

ajun pyai kyo nn p^n nsb q 

bww tas pc r« 

ybvi pn m rta 

JJOl *fl fPI phn TOW JT PT HM 

ipj pan pbn not mnon sy □□ 

ot ran pa jb ett 

yrr nn nb ny 0 

JTfts nan sn rbi yt naaoip w 

Dfnu npon on an rbi y n aa 

01 on s* po*? a* 

1 ny w m *n ba 

bn 

S3 

Op Tun 01 OK 

brm rat yn aa 

■pipaa nty; bp nBnon uy 2 k 

a nyibrn onon oynj irpi 03 

o& jap no pt ok 

'ynb nwtn pa 

nonop mt\7\ bp nayrs a» yst 

op fcno ntjp ucn nbpnay r ua 

tm io ns bm 

rp m ip nfr m 

layin HflpO thun rpon no y» 

tbwmpni na yh laypnai pa 

rroao pi too pie 

niy mn bjr no 

tt' 5 ypn no boy pan tuiptk 

nna: nnw nt^a ypn naboy ^a 

rrr oca oap cs 

n t n * b 1 p yn na 

arm rno’ Ym> ® 7 &y pip m 

in m rna* ibta oyjy pn wn «a 

For Gimel 

For Datei 

a« ntnpYBjJimba '0 nr in m 

lONnan pvsy 010b a* on tl ftt 

K ®p SO 00 Bt m 

a nn yy jb »o n 

npjro ’HKiw srrnap yobo n 

st naiarma xrt pbou rppo' n 

poo o n Kp os n 

nyr^ anpb m 

io>n nabt apstnppai kyo to 

oya> Kya 0 ; no'n nabt api an 

pot hsj npo m 

nn a«b iny h 

pan pbn naroatn tm w pass o 

pbn nowirnonn 70a Boy an 

bok orp onp ai 

ra yn nm bn 

yt naa otp'Kinyo non »m? bi 

bp vbi yt naa cp^KJ nbn on 

orr ut poraN » 

ny Ty rn ^nba ri 

i* 

8t 

ok 3P pp tpn pi 

lab jrnnbi yn 

bprisnonuynie^p to aa t yi 

□noy i» *pipaa nty sbpo sn 

spa apt awe ai 

^nur ny 3 * n 

TOawtnonjOTa m bp na w 

ayi’ija 07 khp ntsp crrtb pn 

3 DC "1 SH TO pi 

’jr fflbya ns nn 

narw ipyiTnajpa tbw> rvo ns 

mp3 ibsn ntpna mmnav *pn 

t ao p« na oa pts 

nb yna i»a nn 

mb area rroa lansTt *a pp n) 

pd ypn imb pyt?a naa ^n m 

nr do sob pp ks 

wba yyn n an 

nm mer -[boa vym pn^rw ai 

nano* -[bai ovMpn^n «a an 



n ate rial 



JG5 


For Heh 

For Vav 

nr np ys yo JE Ss *y nr VI 

m 13 etnmpjBpoiaVy an n 

sett ps oe 3d irr 

ns rrro ^ m 

ivy oSen jpyn i nn nwa nrt 

inppa ^nec nsia ms tYoS ei 

«pos ri rsc on 

spy Sm n»3 n 

raStapimrpai kyo ns no vt 

KMTOWI flrtopJ on rp si 

real pot ns sn 

TW TB nsY Si 

noiruji pnseyeo s*i fs'p Srr 

vnrn oncepos b*i pn pSm ei 

psi DDK PTPOn 

nS -:y' 3 ynn jn 

j*p non pn rSipnsaeip 1 * ^ 

pwirtfenansn rSj pi naa ei 

B! po l?3 KQ3 on 

vm wai n pi 

yn 


■p 10 «5 re pr on 

ynaaS mn St 

»op teas ntjr iSr rrsnp ne JTT 

easntpiSr tisto no* nite pi 

0 STf 0{t PS 13 pn 

inn ys»Y nS m 

SfnsYi’raeyfenp mi tno nn 

on rtSp n3Y3*saepttno nn rt 

asp; rap; eo ra 

Sar3 mn Tp m 

'mi noyk oprn e^Ja tSann 

spm tnpg iSsyn rpem noy «t 

eo& ti ts cp «n 

t iy mn Spn pi 

ns ;dtp* nroppri i^e Spyr an 

eS OYtsnnsiDnKnna ppn n 

r» oop pr w in 

n*Sj ysr nns t 

une 1 iStn oi?by pnrn stai nn 

mtr iSai eysjrpnrn to si nt 

For Zayin 

For Chet 

rr ni aw nmpY&peiiaSst] rtr 

nmis KnrnpYEpoioSD» on 

nicer pso 03 et 

m mYpi S *n 

net ^ jo nnarYoSen nppe n 

rtstoroStm nppo T n« tdj sn 

ir bo erne po a? 

Trrjjn iso Sn 

apxi ntpat DYonjnc^n na Vr 

m>n neSrspie -rrpsi nS sn 

etas nr OD ip nr 

sySi rom n jn 

non« pea MpanpSn natr it 

KposiPifsn p Sfl noi n tn on 

ran pa iso « or 

rur 6 tts yn 

133 oi pvejmftjntnsn rSi pr 

rSi ynsstYpeunre nan sn 

pars tea; on bt 

YnSai np i yh 

f' 

pn 

sno low 3rd pr 

yi pn is Sn» tn 

PsSr nsna jtcy n»e ‘ptoss nt 

bid neYni« ’ptoss ntp iS vn 

d wosaps no rt 

P 3 ‘S nS td rm 

isrtcnnSp ns* vasay lerro jnr 

emir vrvfSpTJY j^b sop «n 

Op) Dor n4U «f 

i nn^ ni^Y an 

Son n*pm naymayvn dip at 

SYftDpm t33ps tSsjn rvt^ jrt 

poptt nei‘sr it 

Spi3 niYn no 

*nppn iioS ayrmns »tk tt 

33B"w nt'a ypn iieS wva nn 

ess osp rea nt 

»SipY nns n irt 

n&HSojepw pnrn **3 m it 

e* ■’SciopDY pirn ks aim tn 





For Tet 

For Yud 

rMBOH nnpywwBb& a 

anr nusN nrnp ysporab 3 * 

1 ns EflP pi DO 30 

mj rnypj b* 

u jppo s nst laisn norYD bo 

tin ijoa rnsn abou rpp a* 

n«pDjri??D oa 

^TP bm nt y 

tejptnyo ru Xffl rasbi ap 30 

nrmbt 3p» irysi teiron n d 1 

apo jkss nr db 

to m* Vlo jr 

aan psipbmai r^n ortK pa 

stsi pSmm xmn ora yoa e N 

koi pr pa i ?o 

jpn jurtb "6* 

ncnijnrbip rca aip’io n yu 

Nii yo ren snu boproo di p* 

rs no ip norpa 

r63j np 6 nr 

TO 


pie no ad eo ro 

nnyip iso Sjt 

bnjec 'press ity jbt? nsio no 

press nrp jVr n&no rat ji: & 

& jap nor re no 

yY> nun np 3» 

p^rre mr\ain Spis p ire 30 

soap «na mir ion rtSp isy 

w nasw rap ra 

yn 6 vs nn t 

^13 6a n rvisij no»N upr io 

on nc6et , oytn asp3 6sn rr 

oar jt sop n no 

jy rrm V>y 13 p 

bovra mj&TM *ra ypn i w 

oppn 310 V dym nnosaiN n p 

sod api? mj n ra 

ijpr ms "TTtT 

■ 1 Soj pptor pirn to itn t no 

T*joj ayat pirn to ith m o» 

For Kaf 

For Lamed 

’onrm»N nr ip ss yo jo bs 

3*orm m js unrTpy&poj eh 

on imp pap 03 

»nn3 nury jb 

nn srs ^o»s npyam ntb as 

pwppo 'nt* U5J3 nro rs ab 

Tiraoorwp os 

m ny?i si pb 

inys ns td‘h nabt spjo -tv pa 

rjpjoirpsn nyo na wan sb 

nr qoj pot « aa 

inp '-nj ns ib 

ipb moi rain DCKiraa an ys 

mo irjrrrerw pas an f*3i pb 

IS 3N OTTO 1 p3 

6^3 yn run ib 

3 Ft p’wn ptj nonanrHjy ns 

jp i33C?i p»eo nytanoi *in rb 

KOip net para 

sa ip xm t nb 

JQ 

kS 

ra pran ara «s 

rmrnr 1 y u sb 

ityibr nano rtnr nj irpto 33 

s?nsia ntnfns tt»p loasirp sb 

pnor jbh as as 

i^innyi'i ib 

f J s S sop sns mi nom bp is 

piss j'UQjppK PTOntir ion nb 

sn to psaov ns 

Y3 PtrrTpn h 

pr io:po 6sn mris naYN O 

snn’oia nmw sjm Dips rb 

op« rraoar i is 

pisfar m nb 

ams -mgyp run6 nyrsn rp 

Dyran nsamwi no ypjrn sb : 

9 cp pet hi nt 03 

3pn naim 6 

boa Dpeypirn NSVVn tnd *s 

03DPBY pirn toJim mo» sb 


c 



m 3 


term I 



For Mem 

For Nun 

Sj'c mm rnrnpysyD -n 

o bn ■ammmt nc-^ypy pj 

adiTtlKT ps do 

Sm in my yi 

‘rtsoa janrtapyo bona np yo 

n m arycbou iipptti itn ai 

(CTttproTHP PO 

iaiy bn in vi 

mionn flbfapxj tvpji « i b o 

cnrya worn ion rsbra pi 

WflaiCDcSl pO 

raybinyn "a 

tcj taiona vans’! fm pbn ns 

TnonH yeas *apai pbrnnt n 

rTpD-iStHiDT CO 

rrmrayn m 

isnt? b)pn aam pwrati n□ 

irenmfiflwSjynsamp' ki 

loniWTOca hd 

ip’ymnb ai 

323 

u 

topop«np 10 

ab/mny iy u 

nmni «*p» aantv iSbtib to 

topio aaity aim mono* ni 

rrDHODinp in 

mpyanbi u 

iibpia xm uyK noni» to 

pioni bfroy! >patjyx non tj 

paowisw to 

"rpyn ibya ra 

IKDJfV T0!p3 tbmi ’013 flO 

pa?b imon hoSk qym oi 

smiaq?Kft oa 

ymnbjnai n 

ypn vash wvanna »ic<it *o 

sikit 1 nvpna ioboy oanrt aa. 

wpCKiiro so 

yyirmyv bj 

joyinr p-itora *o 3 l mb iuo bo 

oyoipirn wa im mcr fb oa 

For Samekb 

For Evm 

no ba*ont msait nnpyja po 

□30 bo ’em rnoJOft nrnpy&y 

oaoTniwrp po 

:brrmm yy j 

beu npyo ’hkid lamar to 

on his lamar yobtsiin py 

anraotj nw po 

brnnarma iy 

'in pbra pxrrrya worn no 

a wo njTO*n nabrapatn m 

OJpOtttMl CD 

manaafbl ny 

rwyon rsym pbms wat no 

oar ’tya ipS momirnon wy 

twoTpoiM kd 

nnanbur ay 

p«3 lyona mnr bayna no 

na am p'Hjnyo nolowb ay 

l!J!pUV3ttB 3D 

lymrnbni iy 

1 C 

nv 

JUttOPOpTfl TO 

uabfpini ty 

aaity ibrnpia navnj trp w 

ibcnsionovn u« >pio aai iy 

«0PJ>7 noc to 

a«nb nun ny 

nun amSp lajmsoeiy a no 

« no jttjt vmSpinyi>ja oy 

cnnwnapj co 

mbyanrn <y 

Tinov may ciojp3 tbsnn u 

cioipa sba mu nnotm sy 

PSTO0BC3T no 

iav»mn by 

rc anna-im KTr*ov p/mo bo 

pni tobo ycann aasunt* oy 

SfWMJTTOD 00 

nnaTrvb ay 

vpv pnvnm jm iro*abe :t 

sy pirn sail iwntraboa oy 




m 


For Feh 

For Tzad i 

iaba njw vttmk nsnpis 

Bpwta ba mntvrtt awnen pi 

oootjtru pa 

jrfwim mi 

Jinn bstsoSoii j^?d tw td 

obois jpy trnri Tcsma k?s 

SBn KJ5D3W ss 

roiybm r*s 

Sqpm Ttvjj* ksq ivm ns 

o mip^i nsbtapi emvpB* «* 

irrrooa pot wd 

Svumjrt 3i 

^Mtan pbnian ojtJic*n wire as 

si pb monew normptm* n 

dM&TSFCnpi IB 

oprtnmb ts 

Twhi j?T-QiO p^mrt Yonn ns 

one ism? bjpr KMmp»Ki mr 

TpDOdKOlD rtB 

TTMfranp is 

is 

n: 

rruia KButjp tb 

lynab/m ns 

ion tfltttJ K*p*D IBnpVo 1TB 

11 jrpicoo Ttpsber nman os 

apawroK os 

ibi unnpa *y 

aap tenant! ww SpliYl *& 

j^saup riro jitjr iflXTbpi a» 

KtopaoMTt 3& 

anrrppm bflf 

nn*ai inos «iijran taapat S& 

wop icnojpp iHsnn TTin oy 

vnaqMcno os 

mnbjrav 3* 

itnpa pp mro*? Tttvmro jb 

& 3 ft niiBi K'moj; proiob os 

pv kctbm pb 

ITOlwbl ps 

y pTcn HaaTmrno ’■bShjd pb 

pupil juitn irwsb o»p wr 

For Kuf 

For Re$h 

yppoKj^p 'cmt irmax no ip 

pippairibjsonnmjiatn en 

soDieniw op 

n*3 Vnrp m 

po*rw loan isoyd bon np 

MarnanabtfunppBra T hi 

oswboot «p 

pbm nsm ai 

itmfpo nejrom ipm jibSt sp 

0*1 nsbrapicniTpai «ro rt n 

Of tfBi -TPO o ip 

mo ibt rrsr *n 

**! TEW1TJWTW P03B>) f3 T 

oiojtt oryhsypssn sal p*? m 

3 ;s> oh or era rrp 

bn op run n 

mutwini sn Kr^svr isoo p 

33 oipw-nranoi &n o-bjp n 

also nq;o ns i p 

ip iy m 

Tp 

tn 

t& nos atop dp 

nil pn ab n n 

HJ33 upibonsio .toy ruw *p 

rpabr nBionoynat 'pros si 

ion nri OB 1 3P 

unn po*s t Vi 

ipy j*b wpwnontj otchi bp 

nbp mi*B miertonoi o> an 

jto do rDssff up 

np rsrbia n n 

artsnrpOTinoYK op tnop 

jfEOiK ujnenojpa sb$n 7 v on 

■tOtJDBD IT 3 op 

3vji mn b pr 

jutoS wra nruante m> Fp 

tn popproiob oreanna i bt 

iPtt JIT 000 0 SP 

m mrbi p n 

i^n to ith fntrfjmopfl ip 

on ioiimrno h ibo: ppbi pi 



XYi 


For Shin 

For Tav 

Tpy&ywob^mnrniaet ra? 

v 1 sn 

pD«» a m he? 

Tyyi V nn 2T 

yo bent nppe tik TiJiann at? 

ppanitt tb» mar* ubtn in 

M pus r 3V 

ym 21? bn nn 

JJSIHfDnVltm nsbt apl o Tiff 

phi apxnwt KStani td* nn 

DDipO tttW nu 

jrTtin ayb yi 

jrn t?n« pcOT’Wrpbn to is? 

unit yoa B'ntDipbmoi pi rn 

onpa iw wo hr 

inb -urn p nn 

biyr -D3D1 fib nm & nsr 

anBie- biynMm ,tkj nv on 

DRIED TDT pot? 

boj -sp iry m *n 


an 

taptan eua k se? 

*urr ijni a bn 

njno npyrrjK ’praaa -rrpi bp 

at tik ’pwiBiryibtm® t an 

IP WD& 33p 71 OP 

njp *nb i in 

tot nbp td* j»B3op«nonT is? 

tw id TbpT3nb*MO!jw n on 

np p« top is up 

ib« ns TP jrn 

Ttupa iban n'pTinaypf d yv 

rronwOTMipy wt uipa tb nn 

so op kt bq &s? 

*mS rat n yn 

□aro istr Tr*a ppmEbo yp 

nob py*a rmairw to ypn 

fb TE ODD OB ps? 

b Tin»bj yy in 

jvo m tno^btu omp ^ 

posti™* ibni oysy pi »n 


The 231 Gates According 
to the Later Kabbalists 


These tables appear in Emek HaMetekh (Amsterdam 1 1563), 
pages 4 to 6. 

According to the later Kabb&lisis, they can be used for creating 
a CMem and for similar meditation*. 


Copyrighted material 



310 


Alef: Panzuf of Keler 

Bel: Partzuf of Chakhmah 

1 nr Tp fo yo p S3 *0 tit VI is on 

t 3J1 n py 7? D3 oS 7 on ti m m 

T a JIT *P fs po p S 3 *0 m T11K 

t u 3 n ri pv 7: S 3 oS *f bn n tk 

' tti 13 nr ip ps ?s S3 ns m ik 

i n nn sn par 7? uj eS 7 on tk 

* n tt u tw y? f s ps p S 3 ns ns 

3 nr 11 u 3 H PI pi 7? P 3 3 T 7 BK 
n pn n m is inn? -^p p pc fo Sj 

* 'D ru vr is in vi pit do aS -jk 

tt* 7 an n j 3 w 7 ps yc p Sx 

* S3 '3 m VT 13 3 D PI p* 7 ? PS 3 « 

i aS 7 on n m a me *ip ps jp p 

i p Sb nt n is an rr par up ok 
tt Pi aS 7 an n m 33 rip tp p& yse 

* yp p S3 *a min -a an pi py ts 
i 7 f p: sS t an n m 33 nr y> ps 
t< p& pa jo Si ns nt ti tj 3n un pvt 

1 py *y o: aS 7 an n th 33 nr tk 
tt Tp ps yo ja S3 ns nr n u an vk 
' ed n pv sy dj oS :t sn n m u n« 

' * «n tn px *iy pi aS i' an n m 33 
i is nv Tp ps ya as S3 'a nr in 13 
i ti nn pi py 7? oj bS 7 an ri 13 
n IT 3 « rrp Tp ps po so S3 is nr ti 
’ 11 is «n pi pi sjy pa oS 7 an 13 

1 n m 3« np ip pp yo p S3 ’a ri3 

* mm 13 sn PI py ay P3 aS 7 aa 

1 an n n s« np ip p yp p S3 ‘3 

tt 'a nr m is sn pi py pj oS -j3 
» 7 on n m sk jtp ip f u yq p Sa 

n>S3 ’o nr n u sn tn py ^ ^ d h 3 
aS 7 an n rn is nt7 ip yp p 

* p S3 ’a m vi u sn pi py 7 ? 33 

1 w aS 7 en n m Jtt pw tp f b pa 

i yo p S3 *a m in 11 sn an py pp 
tt Ty as aS 7 n m ss na ip yz 
fb ya p S3 ’a nin ti xn vi pa 
« psr 7r as aS 7 on n m s« j-rv tb 

1 ip ffl yq p S3 ^a m 11 *0 k/t i? 3 
n ten py ay as aS 3,' an n m Ji 3 

* nv -p p yo p Ss *a m 11 n S3 

Citmel: Partzuf of Binah 

Dak cl; Partzuf of Daai 

11 a« nr Tp pB yo jo Sb ns mil tj 

1 sn n py ca aS 3* an n m 

T m JN HP Tp pa JD p S3 "U HT T> 
1 ITT 13 K 1 PI py TV W OS 3 * Bf 1 « 

* n IT as DP "P ffl po JS S3 ’ 5 ? 713 
t m vr T 3 »n rT py 7/ os aS > m 
» on n m 3 k rtp ip p& pa pa Sa ^ 
t 'a or rs 13 ttn ui py 7? m aS 73 
t 3* an n tt 3h nr ip ps yo p Si 

1 Sa »d m rr ii sn m py *jp pj, si 
nr pS 3’ on ti m 3 « nr -p ps po p 
' p S3 ns m rs 13 <en m py 77 qj 

1 d: oS s’ tn n n 3 h nc 7 fs j?i 
t ya sa S3 ns nt tt 13 «n ri py *11 
t TP os aS 7 an n n as nv ip pi 

1 pu y^ p S3 ^ m m T 3 sn tn . pi 

1 py ^ si aS 7 an n tt 3 n nt? u 
s ip pb yp p S3 'a min 13 xn P3 
t npv*puoS:pQnn?n3Mra 
tt jw ip p® po p S3 »a nt ri 13 si 
» xn vr py »\y os sS 7 an n rtr 31 

* 13 wn vr py 7 ? &s aS 3’ on n tt 

1 1; 3n nr ~p fD yo \n S3 'a nt n 

T vr 13 kji n py 7/ ds oS 3* t?n n 

T n 7u 3 K nv 77 ^ VP ?o Sa >a rrl 
' m rr 33 kji en py 7? qj aS 3’ ai 

1 art n 7 U 3 K up pp f'E yo p S3 ’T 

* i a nr n S3 «n n pr ^y as qS 71 

T 7 on tt ns 3« nr 75 fB yo p Si 
t S3 *b m vi 13 nji n py 7? oi si 

* qS 3 » csn n is 3 K nr Tp f s ya p i 
it fo S3 «o m rr 13 sn n py iy PT ■ 

* Pi oS 7 an n 7 a 3 K nr Tp ys> yi 

1 yc p S3 ’a m n 0 «n n pi 71 
t 77 as nS 3^ an n ti 3 k nr Tp fr 
t yfl yc p S3 -a nt vr 33 ftn rr pr 

* py 7? qj aS 3’ cm n d 3k nr n 

1 Tp^ByopSB'antiimtnrT 
h rr py ny as oS 3* an n m 3 K m 
t nr 77 r& y» sa S3 is ns m 13 an 

1 r*n an px bj? as aS 3 1 tjn n is 31 

* 3n nr Tp f5 ye p S3 v nr it n 


c 



m 3 


term I 



i 

—I 


Heh: Partzuf of Chesed 

— 

Vav: Parmif of Gevwafo 

1 uaitmpyByojoVa’ortr*! 
,i ri is ran ti pi *jy pi aV 7 on tn 
i n n s* nt ip ys yp jo Vs 'o nn 
n ntnattn ti pi w oV 7 an 
! ' sn n ii aft w i? ^5 su is Vs *n 
i *b nr n 13 «n m py iy ps oV -jn 

1 T*t 3 nTni 3 KnrTpfBjm p bn 
i Vs *o m n m «n m pi HP 0(1 on 
n aV s 1 on n u s« nt ip py yp jn 

1 ja Vs *0 fit rt is «n ti py ^ pn 
X 03 aV s' on n n s *4 nt ip pu yn 

1 pc p Si ’c m rrn kti ffT py <i- 
1 *[p 03 aV 7 op n m 3M nt np f, n 

i p yo jo Vs t m ti is «n tn pn 
n paffUfWoV-pEjrttininpTn 
* np ps yp jo Vs <o rtf n 33 sn tn 
i mpyTppjnV"Ponnni 3 rtm 
« rnr'pp PO jo Vs ns m ti jq at 

1 «n m pi ^ 03 aV 7 on ms an 
n a* ra? ip fn ye ja Si n) nt run 

1 is «n ti pi tj? D3 aV 7 an n nn 

* xi 13 wn tn py iy to oV 7 m ti 

1 m 11 3 « n» np fs yo ja Vs ’O m 
t nt m 13 «n m py ^ 03 oV 3* bi 
n on n ti sk nt np ^ yo p Vs't 
k ns nr m 13 ten xn px ay u oV ^ 

1 -p on rr tj 3 K nt 1? pft yp p Vi 

1 Vs 'B m m is «n tn py sy 03 ai' 
1 nV 7 on rn m sk rru np ps yg 3t 
n p Vs ’0 nt m 13 «n tn py >jy pi 

* dj oV S' on trf m s« no t? fs pi 

x yp 30 Vs ^b rn m is ctn sn pi n 1 

1 sp Pi oV s* on m nt sn nt t? r 

1 ys yp 3 a Vs r rs xi is sen m p> 

1 py bp pj aV s' on tttti sm nt x 
n np fB pa p Vs '□ m xr is kti ti 

* vn p* ^y P 3 aV s' oninn 3 K m 
> nt np j's yo 30 Vs '0 nr xi 13 K! 
tt t«n tn py ny B 3 oV s s on m *u 31 

1 sm nt np j'B yp p Vs *0 m xt 11 
n iSHfitnpyTpPidVs'cjnrfix 

* m sw nt ip pp yp p Vs to nr in 

Zayin: Parizuf of Tiferei 

Chei: Partzuf of Netzach 

* in ti sk ftp ip ps yp p V3 ’a nr 

i m m as «n xn py pj aV y bt 

n on 0 u ait np np j's yp p Vs n 

rr m m 13 pin m pi tp 0 j aV 7 

* T On tt ia sm nt pp f y yp jo Vt 

1 Vs *a m m is nn ti pi *iy 03 ai 

* oV S' on vnitt(tip np ps> yp ft 

1 jo Vs '0 m m 13 nn ti ps nv 0* 
rr wafr-pontiniawnopp fa pi 

* yp so Vs '0 m xr 13 nn on pi 7 
rr *jy 03 aV 3* on mi 3 Pt to? np ft 

* f & yp jo Vs *0 m m a «> m pi 

1 py np 03 aV y on in ti sk nt it 
n ip f s ya 3 B Vs *o m m 33 *tn tt 
n in par tp 03 oV 7 on in n s# nt 

* Jit Tp f£ yp |b Vs '□ m nrr is kt 
\ wri m py 03 aV S' on n *0 31 
« sx nr np rs yo jo Vs 13 m xi ir 

1 13 «n tn psf *jf &3 aV 7 pn pt nt 
n *n 3t* nr ip f& yp p Vs *o m nt 

* m is kn isn pt *iy w oV s* on it 

» 0 m 33 hp tn pr pj dV 7 on 
t onn ii set nt p yb pp p Vs m 

T T3 n m js Nti cn pi pj oV 71 
n 7 pi m m s« nt 73 rs pu jd Vn 

1 Vs '0 H tt is *tn tn py *jy pi on 

1 aV S 1 amn m SH rr np r® 5^ F 1 

1 ja Vs ’o m m is ttn cn py ny on 

1 P3 aV 7 of in 11 s« nt np ys pn 
rr pp jo Vs vs m xi is wn on py *m 

> Pi oV 7 an in 13 sk nt ip yft 
x yp yp -a Vs >o n m 33 ten ti pn 
* pj TV P3 aV 7 or m tj aw nt m 

1 np y® j?o p Vs n nn 13 «n tn 

1 n py »p pi aV 7 or in -p s« no 
n nt is p yp p Vs '0 ti xi 33 «n 

1 an tn pi qy 03 sh s' at n u sn 
i sk nt yb yo p Vs ’O ti xnrs 

is «n ti py sy pi aV 3' on n m 

1 u s« nt 757B yo p Vs 'o n nn 
rr xr n i<n tn pi 7? P 3 aV 7 or tn 

> ti *fl srt nt ip ys yo |a Vs '0 m 



ferial 





Tet: Partzuf of Hod 


* nr rr ns an nr y f b fo jd Sa *a 

i nt rt m ja «n rn py tf 03 ab fo 

i t rtt rr la 3 K m? ip ps po p Se 

n ba n n m 33 nn m py tf oi oo 

* a 1 ? ’s 1 m vr m in nr f 9 F° fQ 

i pa ba *rr ti ni ia «n xn py tv oa 

’ pi ab x ™ n u 3« nr ip f b 5 ?a 

3 yo 30 ba *n n m xa nn tn par *p 
rt tp w ab x ™ tin an nr np fa 

* fB yo jo ba *n n m ia nn tn pa 
ft* py *fl? 03 ab y nt in 13 a« Jir TC 

* ip f & po p ba >n n m u sen pa 

i sn pi *iy D3 a 1 ? t 1 nr m ii aK jua 

i nr ip f£ ya fo *>3 mn m u so 
rt sjn pi pr i-sjf pi jrfr 7 m tT ns an 
> as nr ip p yo fa ba ’n n rrr » 
i ip Btn pi py tf 03 ab 7 nr rr no 

a 13 a« nr ip f5 3?o fa ba 'n n no 

1 m n as nr ip vs pe 3b a> ima 
rt ^ 13 3 « nr 11 p yo p ba m ta 
1 n ;n 1a an rn py *F w ob "p no 


Yud: Partzuf of Yesod 


* on n m 33 &n pi py ny n a 1 ? y 

1 to nr in ii am nr np fa fo p b' 
1 ‘nonnrnxawitnpv^Div 
n ab pa min 13 a« nr ip ps yo p 
1 p ^p an n m .sp «n rn py tv o’ 
1 03 nb po nt in u as nr ip fa y* 

1 yv p Sp on n m a «n pi py 9 
1 ifjr dj oS to nt nu as nr ip p 
n fSFOjaSaannmiiawnmp 
’ py TF 03 ab fa nt m 13 as nr m 
i* ip fB pa fa ’jo an n m 3 a «n 

1 m py tp naabTarmnuaMj? 
i rupipfpyopbpannrniair 
1 sn m py Tlf 0 ) ab t® nt in 13 3 ’ 
n ok nr y fa jro ja bp an n m jj 

* ii kti on py n 1 * “P tit t\ *p 
1 is os rv y fa yv [O bp on n rr 
h Tf a m n py t? w ob to nt 1* 
1 ms as m t T* p bs on 1* 
rt n m ia «jt an pi tp as ab -p n» 

* ni rr m on ftp ip fs ya fo bp o’ 


Kaf: Partzuf of Maikhut 


1 T a nr at ns as nr y fa pa p ba 
i Vontunuetnynpnpajto 
n ab *o n? m ii pk nt? np fB Fa jp 
1 )o V an n m n sn n py ^ ap 
» as ab na nt rt ns pk nr ip fa pp 
1 pojoVonnTnia«n(npy*p 
1 tv a: ab ^o nt in is as nv y fa 
i fa va fa V an n m ip «n ivi pp 
n pr TV & '0 nt Ttt u a* nr t> 

* ip fp yp fa b> an n m m<n ap 
7 p u^pyT 5 P 3^ ,1 ^ rff1:1 ' [33it ^ | 3 

* msr ip fu pp p b» on 1 m n sa 

i «ft rn py TV w ab *0 nt rr nj pp 
1 as nr *p f& ye 3 a b* an n m ip 
n ia wt yn py TV pj ab ’o nr rr np 
1 13 as ,mr ‘p fs va ?□ b> an n na 

1 m 13 sn m py qv P 3 ab ^3 nt to 
n tTnsaMrwTpfsjrofnVon tp 
1 n m a stn pi ps tjt D 3 ah «o np 
n m n is as nr ip fa ps 30 b» aa 

* an n m 13 sn m py ^ oj ob *p 


Lamed: Back of ICeter 


1 j an n trt o sn n py tp D2 °b 

1 dp ’a nt ti m as nr n? f b yrp fb 
i fa T on ti rrn 13 «rr m py tv ab 
n 03 aa *o m vni as nr pp fB pb 
s Fc fB y on n m 13 «n n py ib 

1 TP 03 153 ™ ^ 13 pm nr np fb 

k fB fo ja t on ti m 3 i «n m pb 

1 py pj dp 'O m m m as rip nb 

a np fi fo ja f 71 a sn rb 

« mpy'ttipjapionttiua*^) 
m nr np fu vd fa f an n m ia »b 
* xn py TV 01 oa *0 nt v\ "0 ab 
1 a« nr np f§ yo fo 7 on; n m jb 
n 13 «r n py ^ 03 dp ’o m rr nb 
n u a« no* np f» po jo 7 orrn nb 
n m ia sn eh py «V 03 oa *0 nr ib 
1 rt i3 as nr np f& po fa t- antb 
1 TirnsaHnmiWTpoi aa »a nb 
st nr in m as mr -p f b fo jo T ob 
rr an n m ia HJi rn py TV oj cd "b 
’O nr rr ns as nr ip fs yo fc lb 


Copyrighted material 











Mem: Back of Chakhmah 


Nim: Back of Binah 


* Sj'omvrmetnv'pffljw pa 
i 1% 7 orr n m 13 kp tn py 7* on 
i w Sa *o m m x hn pf y> ft! yn 

la po fVf* on n m 13 hp y~* pit 70 
k 7p pi S3 'c nt fmi on to p f0 

1 ps peiS^onnprujMJitnpo 

« py *5? tn So t» n» VT X as Jir 19 
^ p re yo |S 7 en ti m 13 kp fq 
a cn pi 7? os S3 x m rn x 3« ro 
h mf p ^ p f 1 ? 7 on n Tt a «3 
7T «n P"t py 7? P3 Sa *e nr n x 2E 

* jut to p f is po y*j 7 on n rn is 

1 13 «n cn py 7? pi S3 *0 nr n to 

n 11 as nr p JW jS t *>n n to 
ft fTT 13 Hi OP py 7? pj Sa X lX TO 

a in x at to p r» pp |Vt on to 

1 n ?n □ wi n pj tji dj ^ 'o no 

1 rfftixatTOipfspp^yaa 
n on n m 13 kp pi py 7? pj S3 + q 
a *0 m a *0 3 N pf -p ^ j» jS -p 
7 on n 11 i3 kp pi pi no? dj bn 

1 oS 7 on n m a «n on py *pi w 

1 oa S3 m nt m n aw pr ip jn 
i poa^7Dnnni»Hnvip»ip 
n *ip oa Ss ns rn in u 3 H to ip fi 
m f d jro sS 7 m n m n nn on pi 
i py oa S3 nj re n u 3 H pc 11 

h ip f b po oS 7 on n m 13 np ca 

1 ui py 77 00 S3 'o m rt is pi 

n to 75 f njfD nS 7 m n m so «3 
« kt ssn py co S3 *0 n vi -0 31 
ti 3 NTOnp^vonS 7 annmii 

1 33 sn tn py 00 S3 *a firm ni 

1 TS 3 N TO ip f D ]70 cS 7 Oft tl pj 

i m 13 hp xn py 7? 00 S3 >o he m 
rr ri x 3 H to T? f s Jr© fiS 7 on ri 
n n at 10 hp pi py 7? do S3 *0 m 

1 m H x 3 K TO 7? f S J?c oS 7 01 

1 up n m S 3 HP en py «ip do S3 >J 
n ns nr *1 n 3n p^ Tp yo oS -51 
n 7 on n m 13 hp on py 77 00 Si 
So u nnn x 3 « to ip r® 3 ? 0 ^ 

Same kb j Back of Daat 

Eyin: Back of Chcsed 

1 p'o'omwT> 3 MnrTp ^ po 

1 pi ob a* on n mn w tn py *p 
1 7? 13 S3 13 nr n x 3h to ip JX 
a )M oS 7 on n m J 3 ptn sn po 

n py u? to S3 'o re mi » to np 

1 f p F 3 aS on ti m 33 nti re 

h F*t py 7 pa S3 n; ms 2 n to 

1 pf ip ft pi oS 7 on n m 33 see 
1 hp m j7y 7 fa S3 >0 err m x ao 
k as to ip 7s JfJ ri* 7 on fi *H 10 

m 3 d Nil Fi ps »hj? jo S3 x nr n ip 
* 11 3 N TO "P fD P 3 aS 7 DT 5 n hTC 

1 m 13 kp 01 py 7? jq S3 *0 nt id 
i r 1 3 K rr 7 fs yi nh 7 an to 
a n m 13 kp on py 7? jo S? »o no 
a nr n is n« to -p fp pj eS 7 on 
i on n m js kp sn py 7? p S3 x 
t 'ontTnuaHTOTpfsjwoS'ip 
ft 7or)tifrnflKntnpy^|aSD 
rt V 3 ^omwni 3 «nr'Tp^ 3 pa£» 
oS 7 on n m 33 hp wi pv u? ft? 

» ojrfj , pmnTtm<7tn py 7? 

1 •ppSonarnrt'Ti^H to t> py 
i Oi oS 3* esn n rnsa hp ten py 

n py*pioS 3 n}mrnx 3 MTOTV 
n np fs oa oS 7 on n m la hp rp 

1 n py 10 p S3 m nt n x 3 h np 
n to ip pc oi ob 7 on n m 13 kj? 
t hp n pi 70 p So na nr in x 3 P 
n 3 k to np pa aj oS 7 on n m ajf 
h 13 kP ti pi 73 jn S3 ns nr tl ijr 
m ■» 3H to ip fB pi oS 3* on n ny 

1 m 13 hp srt py bd p S3 ’0 rn 15? 
i n x 3 « to 7? TP 03 oS 7 on ty 

1 rimi 3 Kp*npi 70 |oS 3 ’on 7 
n rnrrxaHTOTpfPWoSxHj? 
n on twtt 53 hp vn py *u p S3 

1 *o re mu an to -p pp m oS 73? 

1 7 on n m 13 hp pi py n 3 T© bp 

rr S3 «0 re VT X 3H TO np f 5 03 pp 

ft ob 3 1 on tl XI 33 HP Fl py 7 D TP 

p S3 m irnm ait pf 7? f® op 













M4 


Peh: Back of Gevurah 

Tzadi: Back ofTifcrei 

t fv aa aS 7 on rr m 13 xn xn pg 

1 py fp p So ’O nt VI 15 ox ns? 15 
7 -p y j? 03 gS 7 * an n m 30 xn tg 
k tn jw pa fo So na m in n ok m 

1 nt 7? fp oa aS 7 on n rrt 13 «& 
ft xn ti ,?t jro )ts i d ntn i»» 
t ox nt ~p pp dj gS 7 an n m ip 
n 33 «n tiprpcpSoiDTtnn ia 
et u on nt 73 pp t 3 aS o* on ti i& 
rr> m 3 J xn fl pt pa jo So 'H rn 15 
* VI 11 ott firip FP D 3 aS T 0 * T& 

1 ti m 13 wipi py pa p So to m 
1 nt n *n » jip t n? w ^ t os 

1 Dft T> Tl 13 KJ 1 PT pi FD p So >D 
1 V nr a TS 3 « IV T? fp ol aS T& 

t 7 an n mo sn n pr pa |a S& 

1 So TO fn VT 13 3 W fW IP ft? 03 no 

n £>S 7 or n tt n xn n par pa f& 

a jg So to nr vt ii ok nt 77 pp 

03 rfi T un iwrna «n ten py p& 

* ^p dj nS o' nn a 11 ia «n tn pj 

1 pt pc So ^d nt ta 11 3 k nt it 
a ip ^ p] zjS 7 an n m 33 Kn tr 
a ti ps yt p So *o nt n u ok nr 
x nt ~p t? 03 sS 7 on n m n ttt 
i MU tl po po p So T3 nr n n ot 
x Ok np 77 *iP Cl nS -p nn ti m it 
i O Kit vn po pq jg So ^ rt rt it 
a is ox nt ip TP tJ oS 7 nrr n ar 
x m jo xn tn pt pc p So ns mu 
rjl in n ox nt ip TP sS 7 on nr 

* nnawim p* pc p So nr 

1 rtr n n 3K nt ip «ip U3 aS 7 ot 
i on nm JO xn ti p® pt jo So ** 
a >a nt rt ia on nt "p tjp w oS tt 
a 7 bn a m ia «n ti pt pt p St 

1 So , a nt rt is on nt 7? up do ot 

i aS 7 nn n rrs 13 kti ti pa pt tt 

n p So no nt ri u ok nt 7? tp dt 

i 03 aS 7 an n ai 13 xn ti p& pt 

pc pSa^srrrniiOKjw-pT* 

Kuf: Back of Netzach 

Resh: Back of Hod 

> po pc |E3 So to nt in is ok nt Tp 

1 "ttTpwdSTonnmiottntp 
*1 in f o pa p So to m rt is os np 
a nt an TV aS 7 an it rrt 10 «p 
tt nn xn ys pt p So to nr rr is op 
t ok nt n TV aa aS 7 on n m jp 
n 30 «n ti ps ya p So to nr tn 77 
t TJ ok fit is TP 03 nS 7 an n np 
n m 13 ttn en pB pc p So to nt ip 
« rt 13 ok nt it 'gj Oj nS t on ip 
m n m 33 xn m f d pc jn So to np 
• m irr is ok nt iv ip 03 oS 7 cp 

T on n m a «,n ti y & po p So *p 
1 *0 nt at to ok nt tt tp os aS fp 
a t on n rrr so xn xn rs pc p Sp 

a So to m ti to ox nt it TP op 

1 aS 7 bn n rrua *tn ti pa po p 
t p So to m n 11 ok nt it TV op 
a pi dS 7 on n m n w n rs Ji? 
a pc in So to nt rt *u o« nt it ip 
■DfwnS^onnrpmwinfp 

t pT tp D 3 nS 7 am n m 30 xn ti 

1 657 > |-s po ja bj 'a nt n is on m 

i nt pr D 3 gS ®n n ai so ni 

a wrr tp ft po 1,3 nr n u oi 
x 3K nt pr *5? m aS 7 an n m 11 

1 ia xn tp pa jjd |D So ns nr n n 

x n ox nt jiT ip oi gS 7 gn n m 

i m 30 wn tp f d po jg So't? m n 
a in 11 ox nt pr TP oj aS 7 an n 
x t> m io xn tp po Ta So *0 m 
m jtt ms ok nt pT TP os oS 7 tan 
' on n m 13 xn tp f b pc pa So n 

3 >& nt mi ox nt pT TP dd aS 71 

1 7 on n m 30 «n tp f d pp fa Si 
a So 'a nt rt 11 ok nt par TP w on 
n oS 7 on n m so xn tp f b pc p 

1 Ta So + o m ti u ox nt pt TV m 
y w aS 7 on ti m la «n tp ^3 pi 
ti pa p So ”0 rcr n u ox nt pr TP 
n tp W 0^ 7 on ti m so kji tp- jn 
fs pc p So 'a nr m 11 ok nt pi 





Shin: Back of Yesod 


lav: Back of Malkhut 




» TpropojoSsTJnfKm zx pm 
i m par tp dj oH 7 on n m is «t 
«n it pc pc tq Ho *d rn m ts or 

rr as jri pr *g? oj aH 7 on n tt ic 

11 OIV17 f B SfP p Hs ‘c nr imsr 
1 u aw jn py pp? pj aH 7 on n nr 

k m 10 ten 77 po pp p Ho *e nr tc 

i , ti u art m pt IP dj oH 7 on w 
n n rrna ten 7 f 9 pc fo Ho *0 nr 
« nr m ns ok m ps qp 03 aH 7 nr 
m on n m 13 hh Tp ps pp p Ha y v 
1 *o m ¥i hi at in pi 7 ? pd aH 7 ? 
1 7 on n m ja wri 7? po fb jo *» 
i Sa »o rrr tt tj 3 N m par tp oi op 
rr aH a* an n m 13 sn 7? yp po jr 
n fa S3'd nt irt u ok rn par *jp cr 
1 aa ofr 7 tn n m a Kn 71 ro pc 
1 pc p So 'o n? vt u as m pjr 7c 
n Tjr oj aS 7 on r m sa Kn t> pc 
n p& pc p Ha ■& nr n ns oh in pc 
pjr TP aH 7 on n rn 53 sn nc 


* Vi ,p» ^wa^TonifmaNn 
t tec 73 f® pt? pa Ho *o m rr ni or* 
t o« rr pr 7? pj oH 7 on n rn in 
n 1 a sc 7 ? pe p Ho ’0 m n nrs 
h Ti as gn ,7? «p ci aH 7 un n nn 
t 71 13 sc 77 f n jtp fa Ho id nr ip 
« 1111U4 pi py 7? pj oH 7 on tn 
\ n m 13 «c np p* jn> p Ho ’a nn 
rs m irt m os on py *ip 01 aH 7 on 
k on n m » tec Tp pt> pc p Ho *n 
m «m tnu ascipi tp 03oH 

* 7 on n m u w 7? f b pp p Hn 

^ Ho 'a nr vt m as on pi 7? 01 on 
t aH 7 on n m 13 sc 7? p» pc p 
n ja Ho >3 nr ms as on py 7? an 
n oj aH 7 on n m 10 sc 77 ft pn 

1 po p Ho '0 rtr Cl tS as rr pi »p 

* HP pi aH 7 an n m 10 sc 7> rn 

n fs yp 20 Ho ’p rn m m os eh pri 

fi paf 'ip o> aH 7 on n m 10 sc in 

X' fa po p Ho >0 rn in m os cn 


pvnqhte 









Copyrighted material 



APPENDIX IV 
EDITIONS AND 
COMMENTARIES 


Copy righted material 



Copyrighted material 



Ap[ti?!u/ix f¥ 


319 


Printed Editions 

Mantua I562 t 4* 1G8 First Edition. Includes commentaries of 
Raavad, Ram ban B, Moshe BotriL Saadia B, Eliezer of 
Wormcs B, Major text is the Short Version, but also includes 
the Long Version as an appendix {Q. 102-108). Published by 
Yaakov ben Naff ah Gazolo. 

Lemberg. 1680, Contains six versions of the text. 1 

Amsterdam, 1713+ 12* 48^ Also includes the Zoharic Si fra 
DeJbettiUUt and parts of the Talmudic tract of Tamid. With 
introduction by R„ Moshe (ben Yaakov) Hagiz/ 

Constantinople, 1719, 8* 28 fj. Includes abridged commentaries of 
Raavad, Ramban B, and the Ari. Published by Yonah ben 
Yaakov and Yeshiah Ashkenazi. 

Constantinople, 1724, 4*, Same as 1719 edition. 

Zolkiev, 1745, 4*. Contains all commentaries in Mamua edition, as 
well as that of the Ari. Also contains Long Version. 

Koretz, 1779. 4" 36 Jf. Includes commentary Oizar HaShem y attrib¬ 
uted to R. Moshe ben Yilzchak of Riev (q.vj. 

Grodno, 1797. 8*. Includes commentary Pri Yitschak, by R. Yitzchak 
Isaac ben Yekutiel of Mohelov (q.v.), 

Grodno, 1806. 4" 86 Jf. With vocalized text and all commentaries in 
Mantua edition. Also includes commentary of Ari and R, 
Eliahu Gaon oFVilna (Gra), Edited by Menachem Mendel of 
Sklav, 

Dyhrenfurth, 1812. 3 

Vilna-Grodno 1820, 4 e . Contains all commentaries as in Mantua edL 
lion, as well as that of Gra, 

Saionica, 1831/ 

Cracow, 18—A 

Prague* no date. 4 a . Contains commentaries as in Mantua edition. 

Lvov, I860, 4 3 376 fj. Contains commentaries as in Mantua edition, 
as well as Oizar HaShem\ Pri Yilzchak, and commentaries of 
Ari and Gra. Published by Benjamin Bischko. 


Copyrighted matari 



m 


SEFER YETZ1RAH 


Jerusalem, 1874-85, three volumes, IS 6ff Contains commen¬ 
tary of Gra, edited by his disciple R. Moshe Shlomo of 
Tulchin. Also includes super commentary on Gra. Toidot 
Yitscfutk* by R. Yitzchak ben Yehudab Leib Kahanah (q.v^L 

Warsaw, J8&4, 4 c 106 jj. Tire standard edition in current use. Con¬ 
sists of two sections. The first section contains all commentar¬ 
ies as in Mantua edition, as well as Otzar HaShem, The com¬ 
mentary Chakamom, by R. Shabbatai Donello, is printed 
separately at the end of this section. Second section contains 
Pn Yitzchak and commentary of Gra, with commentary of An 
at the end. Also contains Long Version at end. This edition 
contains many typographical errors in the commentaries. 

London, 1902. 8° 79 pp. With commentary by Donash ibn Tamim 
Iqv.) 

Jerusalem. 1962. Reprint of Warsaw edition. 

Jerusalem, 196$. 204 pp. Long Version, with commentary, Yotzer Or T 
by Bemzion Moshe Yair Weinstock. 

Israel, 1970- Reprint of London 1902 edition. 

Jerusalem. 1972, 143 pp. Critical edition of first chapter, based on 
all primed editions, commentaries and manuscripts, by Yisrael 
Weinsiock, 'LeBirur HaNusach she l Sefer Yetzirah," Tetmnn 
1:9-61* 


Other Books Containing 
The Sefer Yetzirah 

Charted Elohim, by R. Benyamin Ha Levi. Kabbalistic prayers and 
readings for the entire year. Contains vocalized text of Ari 
(Gra) Version, In later editions f 1772), the text is from a man¬ 
uscript from ihe library of R, Benyamin Ha Levi, owned by his 
father, and edited by the Kabbahst, R Shuliman ibn Ochna, 
one of the main disciples of the Ari, 6 
Ismir, 17JS. 

Venice, 1756, Miff. 

Venice, 1766. 

Venice. 1772, 122 ffl 
Venice. 1787 108# 

Livorno, 1793, 

Venice, 1793. 

Livorno, 1797. 

SakHuca, 1800, 


Copyrighted material 



Appendix fl 


Ml 


Livorno. I SOL 
Livorno, 1303. 

Livorno, 1810. 

Livorno, 1320. 

Livorno, 1327. 

Livorno. 1337. 

Belgrade 1341, \T 127jf. Edited by R. Chaim ben David 
Chaim. 

Livorno* 1342 . 

Livorno, 1362. 

Venice, 1866. 

[Sederj Kiryai Moed. Kabbalislic and other readings for the nights of 
the Seventh of Passover* Shavuot, Hoshartah Rabbah. and the 
Seventh of Adar {anniversary of Moses' death), 
Constantinople, 1736. 

Livorno. 1743, 

Constantinople, 1754, 

Venice, 1756. 

Pisa, 1786 . 

Livorno, 1795 * 

Vienna, 1801. 

Livorno, 1305, 

Vienna, 1822. 

Livorno. 1830. 

Livorno. 1841* 

Livorno. (865, 

Vienna, 1870, 

Livorno, 1892, 8° 259 ff 

Likiitey Tzvi , Kid Bo r Warsaw (Levin-EpsteirtL no dale, p. 105. First 
and last stanzas, as pan of Shavuot night service. 

Mbbnayoi (vocalized}, Venice* 1704, 

Same, but in a somewhat different version, % ; emcc, 1737. 

Ne'edar BaKodesh. Contains Art (Gra) Version, together with Idra 
Rabba, Idra Zuta , and Sifra DeTznium, as recited on Shavuot 
night. Introduction by R. Moshe Hagiz/ 

Amsterdam. 1723, 56 ff. 

Ismtr, 1738. 

Ismir, 1746. 

tsmir* 1755* 8 b 70 ff. From manuscript in library of R. 
Benyamin Ha Levi, edited by R, ShuUman ibn Ochna {see 
Chemed Etohim), 

Shunrey Tzion, edited by R. Nathan Notch ben Moshe Hanover. 
Prayers and readings for various occasions based on the teach¬ 
ings of the An. Prague* 1662. 


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322 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


With additions: Tikkuo Seuday, ICaddish* by R. Yermiyah of 
Vertish. 

Amsterdam, 1672, 54 ff. 

Prague. 1682, 

Prague, 1688, 52 ff. 

Wilhelmsdorf, 1690. 

Prague* 1692. 

Dessau, 1698, 

Venice, L70L 

With additions by R. Mordecai Mariril ben Yisrael Nissan 
Diherenforth* 1705, 

Amsterdam, 1706, 

Venice* 1707. 

WiLhelmsdoif, 1712, 

Amsterdam, 1718. 

Amsterdam* 1720, I3lj# 

Constantinople. ]732, 

Amsterdam, 1736. A somewhat ditYereni version, 

Venice. 1736, 187 ff. 

Sulzbach, 1747. 

Amsterdam, 175 K 
Venice, 1751* 

Venice, 1753, 187 ^ 

Amsterdam* 1760. 

Amsterdam, 1764. 

Amsterdam, 1766, 123 _# 

Amsterdam, 1770. 

Amsterdam. 1774. 

Amsterdam, 1779, 123 # 

Sulzbach* I782 r 142 jf. 

Amsterdam, 1784. 

Novydwor, 1788, 

PoritzL 1794. 

Livorno, 1795* 

Vienna. 1795. 

Dihernfurth, 1798, 

Pisa. 1799, 

Dihernfurth, 1804, 

Vienna. 1804. 

Vienna. 1809, 

Minkovitz* 181,2. 

Amsterdam* 1817, 

Gorodno s 1819. 

Medzyboz, 1823, 


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Appr/iJn ft 


323 


Qihemfitrih, 1828. 

Qstrog, 1828, I88jf 
Venice, 1836, 

Josefov, 1839. 

Josefov. 184]. 

Wiih Yiddish Translation 
Iassi, 1843, 

Zsiamar. 1849. 

Livorno, 186L 
Vienna. 1864, 142 pp. 

Lvov, 1863. 

Lvov, 187L 

Przemysl, 1917, 12° 196 With commentaries. Poteach 
Shaarim , Shaarcy Or ah, Maasim Tbvim, as well as Tikkun 
HaKelaH. by R, Nachman of Breslov, 

New York, 1974. Reprint of the above. 

Tikkun Layt ShavuoL Readings for Shavuot night according to the 
order arranged by R, Shlorao AlKabatz. Contains first and last 
stanzas of the Long Version, 

Venice, 1648, 

Venice, 1654, 

Venice, 1655. 

Venice, 1659. 

Amsterdam, 1700, 

Amsterdam, 1708, 

Forth, 1723, 8* 70 ff 
Furth, 1728. I2 fl 188_/T 
Venice, 1730. 

Venice. 1739. 

Furth, 1739, 96 ff. 

Venice, 1741, 97 ff 
Frankfort am Mein, ! 751 „ 

Sulzbach, 1754, 

Venice, 1766, 142 ff 
Vienna, 1794, 8° 141 ff. 

Vienna, 1803. 

Livorno. J8G5. 

Bhzorka. 1808, 

Sklav T 1814. 

Ostrog, 1814. 

Ostrog* 1823, 

BEilovka, 1824. 

Livorno, 183L 


Copyrighted 



334 


SEFEK YETZIRAH 


Slaviia. 1836, 4° 165 j# 
Sudylkov, no date, 

Zita mar, 1867 T ! 68 jf. 
Vienna, 1861, 

Vienna, 1864. 

Josefov, I865 t 340j# 
Brody, 1876, W 12S 
And many others. 


Manuscripts 


,4ri (Gra) Version 

Jewish Theological Seminary, Ms. Adler 1327, I6th century. 


Short Version 

British Museum, Ms. 736, L # 40a-43b. 13 century. Earliest and best 
text of this version. 

Paris, Ms, 763, j# U-3a. 13th century, 

Parma. Ms. 1390, ff. 36b-38b, I4th century. 

Paris, Ms. 802, jf. 57b-59b. 14th century, 

Hebrew Union College. Cincinaui, Ms. 523, ]4ih century. 

British Museum, Ms. Gaster 415,j# 29a-32s. 14th century, 

Vatican, Ms. 441,# 118a-122a. 16th century'. 

Oxford. Ms. 2455, # 3a-8b. 16th century. 

Cambridge, Ms. Add 647 s # 7b-9b, 16th century. 


Long Version 

Vatican, Ms, 299, jf. 66a-71b. Very old, probably from the 10th or 
11 th century 7 . This is the earliest and best complete manuscript 
of Sefer Ycuirah, is also contains an introduction by an early 
anonymous writer, published by Yiirael Wei n stock. Turbin 
32:157 (1963), Sinai 54:255-56 (1964). The text in this manu¬ 
script is often referred to in R, Yehudah Barceloni’s commem 
tary on Sefer Yet^ira, 


Copyrighted material 



Appendix IV 


525 


Oxford, Ms. 1531 ,ff lb- 12a. I3lh century, 

British Museum, Ms, 752.^ 79a-8!a. 14th century. Contains same 
text as Vatican 299, with some errors. 

British Museum, Ms, 737, j^.’ 379b«3B7e. 16th century. 


Saadi a Version 

Geniza Fragment, Taylor Schechter 32,5, 11th century. This manu¬ 
script apparently contained the entire Sefer Yetzirah on a sin¬ 
gle page. Published by A,M. Habermann, Sinai 10 0947), 
Geniza Fragment, Cam bridge-Westminster, Talmud 23-25. 

British Museum, Ms. 754, ff. 2l2a-2l6a. 14th century. 

Paris, Ms. 770, ff 4Ja-45a. 15th century. 


Commentaries 


Aaron {ben Yosef) Sargado, 89fk96Q. Portions of ibis commentary 
are cited by R. Moshe Botril (q.v.)„ 

Abraham (ben ShmucI) Abulafia, 1240-1296. Gan Naul. Written in 
Sicily in 1289. Munich, Ms. 58, Primed in part in Sefer 
HaPeliyah (Sefer HaKanahf Koretz, 3 784. pp. 50o-56c. 

, Otzar Eden HaGanuz. Also contains important autobiographi¬ 
cal material, including a list of thirteen earlier commentaries 
on Sefer Yetzitah used by Abolafia. Written in Sicily in 1285^ 
Oxford. Ms, Or 606, 

Abraham ben David, The RaamcL~ Commentary primed in the 
Manilla, 1562 edition, as well as together with RmangeFs 
Latin translation (Amsterdam, 1642), and included in most 
major subsequent editions. Although the Raavad is usually 
identified as R. Abraham ben David of Posquieres 
(3 ] 20-1198). one of the early Kabbalists, the accepted opinion, 
both among Kabbalists and historians, is that he was not the 
author of this commentary,* From internal evidence, it was 
written in 1430. Many authorities attribute this commentary 
to R. Yosef HaAmkh (q.v.) or R. Yosef (ben Shalom) Ashke¬ 
nazi (q.v.).* This commentary appears to follow the system of 
R . Yitzchak Baxdashi (q,v.). m 

Abraham ibn Ezra, 1092-1167, This commentary is mentioned by R, 
Abraham Abulafia, where it is described as combining philoso¬ 
phy and Kabbalah, 11 In a letter to his brother, Ibn Ezra himself 


jpv ncihts 


:ri 


L 



m 


SEFEU YETZJRAH 


also apparently refers to this comrneniaT\'. tJ No known copy 
of this commentary is ex islenl. 

Abu Shal Donash ibn Tamim. Sec Donash. 

Anonymous Commentaries 

Jerusalem, Ms. 8* 330:26, 29, 30. 

Lciden. Ms. 24:6-10. 

Oxford, Mss, 632.2 
1557:7.9 
\ 594:5,6 
1623:5 
1794:10 
1947:1 
228G:3 

Pans. Mss, 680:6.7,8 
763:2,3,4,5.6.8 
766:3,5,6 
770:5 
774:3 
799:2 
843:2 
1048:3 
1092:10 

Ari, See Yitzchak Luna. 

Azriet (ben Shlomo) of Gerona, 1160-1238, master of the Ramban in 
Kabbalah. Commentary mentioned by R, Abraham Abulafia. 
Parma, Ms. 1390, 14th century. According to some scholars, 
the primed commentary attributed to the Ram bars was actu¬ 
ally written by R. Azriel. 15 Sec Moshe ben Nachman. Ram- 
ban B, 

Barcetoni, See Ychudah Barcelona 

Barukh tben Barukh) Torgami. 13th century, Majiechot Ha Kabbalah. 
Torgami was the master of R. Abraham Abulafra, and the lat¬ 
ter also mentions his commentary, which consists largely of 
gematiiot and other word manipulations. Pahs. Ms, 770:1, 
with fragments in Oxford, Ms. 1598:3, Published in G, 
Scholem. HaKahbalah She! Sefer HaTemmah VeShetAbraham 
Abtdafiay Jerusalem, 1965, pp, 229-239. 

Bentzion Moshc Yair Wemstock, contemporary. 1/btzer Or. Commen¬ 
tary on the Long Version anthologizing earlier sources. Jerusa¬ 
lem. 1965. 204 pp, 

Birktil Yosejl See Yosef Edles Ashkanazi. 

Chaim of Vidzy, 3 8th century, Gan Yah. Commentary on Gra Ver¬ 
sion, following teachings of Ari and Gra. Written around \ 800, 
Breslau, JS3K 4* 42 ff. 


Copyrighted material 



Appendix it' 


327 


ChakamtmL See Shabbauri Don nolo, 

David Chabilo, 1588-1661, Existent in manuscript belonging to the 
late Warsaw community. 

Donash (or Adonim) Ibn Tarainj t 1 Oth century, 14 Written in Kair- 
wan. Tunisia, in 955, based on the lectures of Donastfs mas- 
ter, R. Yitzchak Israeli. Originally written in Arabic* but trans¬ 
lated in several versions into Hebrew. Mentioned by Abraham 
Abulafia. First commentary on Short Version. Existent in 
manuscripts Berlin Or 8* 243:4, Paris 1048:2. fragments of 
which were published by Georges Vajda, 15 A translation by R. 
Nachum HaMaarabi is in Munich, Ms. 47, and parts of it were 
published by Vehudah Leib Dukes< in his introduction to 
Kuntres HaMesoret, Tubingen, 1846, The complete text was 
published by Menasheh Grossberg cm the basis of Oxford, Ms, 
2250:2, London, 1902* IT 79 pp. Reprimed, Israel 1970, 

Eliezer Ashkenazi. This commentary is mentioned by Abraham 
Abulafia. who says that it is deeply KabbaLislic. No known 
copy existent. 36 

Eliezer Ha-Parshan Ashkenazi. Mentioned by Abraham Abulafia, 
who slates that he did not see it* Extant in manuscript, Munich 
Leipzig 30, Some identify this with commentary of R. Eliezer 
Rokeach of Wormes.' 7 

Eliezer Ha-Kaiir, around sixth century’. Concepts found in Sefer 
Yetzirah are woven into some of his poetry. JS Some authorities 
place R. Eliezer HaKiilir as early as the second century, identi¬ 
fying him with R, Eliezer, son of R. Shimon bar Yochai. 
author of the Zohar,^ 

Eliezer (ben Yehudahj Rokeach of Wormes (Garmiza), 1160-1237. 
His treatment to the first three chapters, is highly mystical* but 
the astrological concepts in the taler chapters is taken largely 
from Chakamoni, He is unique in utilizing 221 Gates, rather 
than 231. British Museum* Ms, 737* E 6ih century* Edited by 
R. Tzvi Elimelekh Shapiro of Dinov. and published by his 
grandson. Moshe Shapiro, as Pentsh HaRA MeGarmiza. f Prze- 
mysl, 1888, 22 ff. 

. Abridgement of the above* first published in the Mantua. 1562. 
edition, 9 

Elchanan Yitzchak (ben Yakir) of London, middle 13th century. 
Based on lectures of R. Yitzchak of Dampierrc.’ 1 Fulda 
Landesbibliothek. Ms. 4, published bv Georges Vajda. Kobetz 
ai Yad 16:145-197 (1966). 

Eliahu ben Menachcm Ha-Zeken. around 1000. Often cited in com¬ 
mentary-of R, Moseh BotnL 

Eliahu {ben Shlomo), Gaon of Vilna. “The Gra, M 1720-1797, Consid- 


iqhled malarial 



328 


SEFER VETZJRAH 


ered cine of the greatest geniuses of all time. Purely K abba list ic 
commentary on the Gra Version, which he edited. First pub- 
fished in Grodno, 1806, and contained in subsequent editions, 
most notably that of Warsaw, 1884. An edition edited by his 
disciple R, Moshe Shlomo of Tukhm, and also containing a 
supercommentary, Toidot Yinckak. by R. Yitzchak ben 
Ychudah Lcib Kahanab (q,v.) was published in Jerusalem* 
1874, 186 pp. 

Ezra, 1157-1238, Disciple of Isaac the Blind, and master of Ram ban 
in Kabbalah. His commentary on Sefer Yetzirah is mentioned 
by R. Abraham Abu la fi a. Some identify ibis with Ram ban B 
(see Moshe ben Nachman), 

Gan Yah , See Chaim of Vidzy. 

Gan Naui See Abraham Abulafia. 

Ginat Egos. See Yosef GikataLia. 

Gra. See Eliahu, Gaon of Vllna. 

Hadny K<>desh. See Meir Komik. 

Has (ben Sherira) Gaon. 969-3038, Fragments of his commentary are 
quoted by R, Moshe Botril. Jellinec assent bed these fragments 
and printed them together, LUteraturbfmt des Orients (OLB) 
1851, pp. 546-556. 

_* Sheeiot U'Tshuvot til Sefer Yetzirah. Questions and answers 

regarding the Sefer Yetzirah. Vatican, Ms. 181. Quoted in 
Bachya. commentary on Exodus 34:6, Paries Rimonim 11:1, 

Isaac. See Yitzchak. 

Isaac of Acco. See Yitzchak DeMin Acco. 

Isaac the Blind. See Yitzchak Sagi Nahor. 

Jacob. See Yaakov, 

Joseph, See Yosef. 

Judah. See Yehudah. 

Kuzari. See Yehudah HaLcvi. 

Luria, Sec Yitzchak Luria. 

Meir Aristola, The existence of this commentary is mentioned by R„ 
Shiomo Al Rabat* (1505-15S4) in his Aperion Shiomo. chapter 
3. 21 

Meir (ben Moshe) Kornik. 1752-1826, Hadrey Kodesh. Commentary' 
on first and last stanzas of Long Vernon, as found in Tikkun 
Layl Shavuoi (q.v,), Dihrcnfimh, 1812. 16 ff. 

Meir tben Shlomo) Ibn Saluda. Only known commentary written on 
Saadia Version, other than that of Saadia himself. Written in 
1331. Rome, Angelica Library. Ms. Or, 45, 14th century, 

Menachcm Epstein, Yetzirah, Odessa. 1913, 30 pp. A discussion 
regarding the creation of a Golem through Sefer Yetzirah. 
based on the Talmud and later sources. Also includes an analy- 




iahte 


srial 



Appendix fv 


m 


sis of Niflaot Maftarai MtFrague t Pieterkov 1909. 

Moshe Botril T early 15th century, Written in 1409, and quotes many 
earlier sources no longer in existence. 15 Vatican. Ms. 441, 15lh 
century. Fim primed in Mantua. 1562, and m most subse¬ 
quent editions. 

Moshe Cordevero, “The Ramak.™ 1522-1570. Dean of the Saf'ed 
School of Kabbalah. Existent in manuscript, Jerusalem S* 
2646- M The Sefer Yetzirah is also discussed extensively in the 
Raniak's other works. 

Moshe (ben Mziimon) Maimonides, “The Rambam,” 1135-! 204. The 
existence of such a commentary' is mentioned by R, Yechiel 
Heilpem in Seder HaDorot (Sefarim, Sefer Yetzirah), No copy 
is known to exist, and in general, the Rambam’s philosophy 
appears to oppose the approach of the Sefer Yetzirah. 

Moshe ben Nachman, Nachmamdes, “The Ramban.’* 1194-1267, 
One of the leading Talmudists and Kabbalists in his time. 
Commentary is mentioned by Abraham Abulafia, Jerusalem, 
Ms. 8" 33G:2&, if. 259a-26lb, published by Gershom Scholem, 
Kiryat Sefer 6:385-410 (1930). 

_. Ramban S. Commentary first primed in Mantua, 1562, and in 

many subsequent editions. Does not coincide with many 
quoted exerpts from Ram ban’s commentary cited in early 
sources, as does previous text, 3 * According to most authorities, 
this is commentary of Ezra or Azariah of Gerona (q.v.). 36 

Moshe ben Yaakov of Kiev, 1449-1530, Otzar HaShem. First pub¬ 
lished in Koretz, 1779, and included in many later editions. 
R. Moshe of Kiev is also known as author of Shoshan Sodot 
(Koretz, I7S4), 

Moshe (ben Yaakov) ibn Shoshan. Written in 151L Munich. Ms, 
IG4. IT 

Moshe ben Yosef of Alisai. See Saadia. 

Nachum HaMaarabr See Donash ibn Tamim, Yitzchak Yisraeli. 

Otot U'Moadim. See Ychosbua ELsenbaeh. 

Otzar Eden HaGanuz. See Abraham Abulafia. 

Otzar HaShem See Moshe of Kiev. 

Perm (ben Yitzchak) Ha-Cohen, 13th century. Jn his noted work, 
Maarekhet Elokut, Mantua. 1558, he mentions that he wrote 
a commentary on Sefer Yetzirah. 3 * 

Eft Yitzchak. See Yitzchak Isaac of Mohaiov. 

Raavad. See Abraham ben David, Yosef HaArukh, Yosef 
Ashkenazi. 

Ramak. See Moshe Cordevero, 

Ramban. See Mpshe ben Nachman, Azriaf Ezra. 

Rambam. See Moshe Maimonides, 



330 


SEFER V ETZIRAH 


Ra-iet also known as Razkt HaMalakh and Raziei HaGadoi An 
ancient anonymous magical and Kabbaiistic text. Actually 
consists of three books, Raziel HaMatakh (or Sefer 
Ha Mai bush, pp. 2b-7a), Raziel HaGadoi (pp, 7b-3 3b), and 
Sefer Raziel (or Ma'aym HaChakhmah, pp, 34a-48b). The sec¬ 
ond book, Raziei HaGadoi contains many important com¬ 
ments on Sefer Yetzirah* Some attribute this section to Abra¬ 
ham Atmlafia. 29 First published in Amsterdam. HOI, 4 D 46 # 
Other editions include: 

Gorodna, 1793- 
Minkowitz, 1 $03- 
Lvqv* 1804, 42# 

Medzyboz, 1818, 49# 

KapusU 1820. 

Lvov* 1821, 

Ostrog, 1&2L, 40# 

Medzyboz, 1824. 

Minkowitz, 1827. 

Ostrog, 1827. 

Gstrog, no date, 4*. 

Lvov* 1835. 

Salon ica, 1840* 

Calcutta. 1845, 8* 134# 

Warsaw, no date, 40 # 

Edited by R. Yisracl (ben Shabatsi Shapiro) Maggid of 
Kmnitz: 

Warsaw, 1812, 

Lvov, 1842* 

Lvov, 1840, 40# 

Lvov, 1863. 

Lvov, ] 865, 64 pp, 

Lvov, 1869* 

Josefov, 1873, 72 pp. 

Vilna, \m f 4*. 

Warsaw, 1881. 

Lvov, 1882, 

New York (Naftali Zvi Margolics), no date, 155 pp. 

Saadi a (ben Yosef) Gaon, 891-941, Tzafsor Ktaav AlMabadt, written 
in Arabic in 93L Oxford, Ms. 1533, 13Lh century- Published 
with French translation by Meyer Lambert* under the title. 
Commentate sur le Sefer Yetzirah; our Line Creation par k 
Qaort Saadja d Fayyoum, Paris 1891, Also published with 
Hebrew translation by Yosef ben David Kapacb, Jerusalem* 
1972, 143 pp. 


Copyrighted material 




Appendix IV 


331 

___ Translated into Hebrew by anonymous author in the 11 th cen¬ 
tury, Vatican. Ms, 236, 3 6lh cemury. This is the text quoted 
in commentary of Yehudah Barceloni (q,v.). 

_Translated into Hebrew by R, Mosbc ben Yosef of Atisna. 

Parma. Ms, 769, 14th century. Exerpts of this translation were 
published by A. Jellinek. Liueramrbtau des Orients (OLB), 
1851, p. 224, 

Saadi a B. First published in Mantua, 1562* and in many later 
editions. On Long %'ersion. cannot be attributed in its entirety 
to Saadia Gaon, since it mentions many later sages, such as 
Abraham ibn Ezra and R. Yaakov Tam, Most probably written 
by a 13th century Ashkenazic scholar, possibly named! Saad i a, 
A more complete version, including an introduction not in 
printed editions vs existent in manuscript, Munich 40, Jerusa¬ 
lem S* 1136, 15th century. 50 Introduction was published by M, 
St einsch udder, Magazm fur die Wissenschafi des Jude mums. 
I892 r p. 83. 

Shabbatai (ben Avraham) Donnelo. 9-3-982, Chakamom or 
T&chkamom, Written in 946, and mentioned both by Rashi. n 
and by Abraham Abulafia. Parma, Ms. 417* 15th century, and 
Munich. Ms. 36:2.First published by David Castclli. as H 
Com men to di Sabbat ha i Daimofo sur Libra della Creaztone, 
Firenze, 3 880. 8*. Also included in Warsaw, 1884. edition, pp. 
62a-74b. Published together with Kitxur Chavot HaLewvot, 
Jerusalem* 1945A 1 

Shlomo ibn Gabriel, 1021-1050. In a number of his poems, he elabo¬ 
rates on the doctrines of Sefer Yetzirah, See Shircy Shlomo ibn 
Gabriel, edited by Bialik and Rawnitzki, Beriin-Tel Aviv, 
1924-29, Vol. 2, No. 58. 

Shlomo (ben Shimon) Toricl. 16th century. Oxford, Ms, 2455:1. 

Shmuel (ben Saadia} ibn Motot, 15ih century. Mesh over Netivot* Vat¬ 
ican. Ms, 225. 15th century* Paris* Mss, 769:1* 824:9* 842:2, 

ShmueE (ben Elisha) Porteleone* London, Ms. Jews College, 

Tachkamatu. See Shabbatai Donne to. 

Toldot Yitzchak , See Yitzchak Kahanah. 

Tzahalle! (ben Net and) Gaon, Some of his poems expound upon the 
teachings of Sefer Yetzirah. Published by Davidson* Hebrew 
Union Coliege Annual 3:225-55 (1926). with additions by E r 
Bancth. Monatsschrifi fur Geschichte und Wissenschafi des 
Jadentums (MGWJ) 71:426-42 (1927). 

Yaakov ben Nisim of Kairwan. 908-976. Philosophical commentary 
based on teachings of Yiuehak Yisraeii. and much like com¬ 
mentary of Don ash. Munich, Ms r 92:20, Published by 
Yehudah Leib Dukes. Kurttres HaMesorei, Tubingen, 1846A 4 



332 SEFBR YETZtRAH 

Yaakov of Sagovia, His commentary is mentioned by Abraham 
Abulafia. who states that it is completely K abbaliStic. No 
known copy in existence , K 

Yehoshua Eisenbach, Dial U'Moadim. BartfeEd. E 904, 4* 35 jC 

Yehudah (ben Barzilai) Barceloni, 1082-1148. An extensive, mostly 
philosophical and Talmudical commentary, quoting numerous 
early sources, most notably Saadi a Gaon. A most important 
source book regarding early Jewish theology. Published by 
Shlomo Zalman Chaim Halbersiam, Berlin, 1885, 30, 354 pp. 
Reprinted, Jerusalem. 1971, 

Yehudah (ben Shmuel) Ha-Chasid of Regensburg. 1145-1217. Men¬ 
tioned by Abraham Abulafia. who notes that it follows 
Chakamom of Shabbatai Donnelo (q.v,). Cf. Leipzig, Ms. 30, 
(The commentary of R. Eliezar Rokeach of Wormes, a disciple 
of R. Yehudah HaChasid, often quotes his master, and this 
commentary also often follows ChakamonL) No known copy 
in existence. 36 

Yehuda It Ha-Levi, 1068-1 U 8. Jn his famed Kuzari 4:25, he provides 
a highly insightful philosophical commentary on Saadi a Ver¬ 
sion. Kazan was written in Arabic, translated into Hebrew by 
Yehudah ibn Tcbon {1120-1193), and first published in Fano. 
3 506, 62 ff. There have been over twenty-six subsequent edi¬ 
tions, including numerous translations and commentaries on 
this important classic. 

Yehudah {ben Nisim) ibn Malka, 14ih century. Written in Arabic, 
and quoted in commentary of R. Moshe Botril, as well as in 
MegiUat Setarim (Venice, 1554). a commentary by R. Shmucl 
ibn Motot (q.v,) on Pentateuch commentary of Abraham ibn 
Ezra (q.v,) r JT Paris, Ms, 764:3, an excerpt of which is in 
Hirschfeld. Arabic Chrestomathy. London, 1892, pp, 19-31. A 
Hebrew translation of this commentary is in Oxford, Ms, 
1536, See George Vajda, Juda ben Nissim ibn Malka: 
Philosphe juif Marocain, Paris, J 954, 

Yetzirak . See Mena c hem Ekstcin, 

Yitzchak Bardashi, 12th century.** Mentioned by Abraham Abulafia. 
who makes special note of his arrangement of the 231 Gates. ^ 
Here, his system is almost exactly the same as that found in 
Raavad (see Abraham ben Davidl 

Yitzchak (ben Leib) Kahanah, 3 824-1900, Toldoi Yitzchak. Super- 
commentary on commentary of R, Eliabu. Gaon of Vilna 
(Gra). First published in Jerusalem, 1874. and with additions, 
Jerusalem, 3 879. 

Yitzchak De-Min Acco (Isaac of Aceoh 125CM340. Disciple of 
Ramban. Commentary draws heavily on that of Yitzchak Sagi 



eriaf 



Appendix IV 


333 


Nahor. Jerusalem, Ms. 8 ? 404. published by Gershom 
Schokm, Kiryat Sefer 31:379-396 (1957), 

Yhzchak Luna. '“The Ari" 1534-1572. Leading luminary of the 
Safed school, and the most influential of all Kabbalists. Com¬ 
mentary weaves teachings of Sefer Yetzirah into the Ari's gen¬ 
eral scheme. First published in Constantinople. 17l9 t Zolkiev, 
L745 t and in other editions. Included at end of Warsaw* 1884, 
edition. A discussion of the Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom by 
the Ari is found in Likutey Shas, 1783,# 27a, b. and also at 
end of Warsaw edition. 4U 

Yiizchak Sagi Nahor (Isaac the Blind), 1160-1236. Son of R. Abra¬ 
ham ben David of Posquenes, and master of Azrief and Ezra 
of Gerona (q.v,), Considered one of the greatest of ah 
kabbalists. His is one of the few commentaries to openly dis¬ 
cuss the meditative aspects of Sefer Yetzirah. Rome, Angelica 
Library* Ms. 46. 15th century: Oxford. Ms, 2456:12; Leyden, 
Ms. 24:1 b* 1 Published by Gershom Schotem. at end of 
HaKnbbaiak BeProvence, Jerusalem. 19 66, 41 

Yiizchak Isaac (ben Yekmiel Zalman) of Mohalov, 1728-1806. Pri 
Yiizchak. Kabbalistit commentary based on Zohar and teach¬ 
ings of the Ari. First published in Grodno, 1797, 8° (also 
including additions to his Beet Yitzchak, his commentary on 
Tiktmey Zohar, first published in Zoikiev* 1778.1. Also 
included in Lvov, 1860, edition, and in second part of War¬ 
saw, 1884, edition. 

Yitzchak {ben Shlomo) Yfaraeli, 830-932, One of the greatest sages 
of his lime. According to his disciple, Donash ibn Tamim 
(q,v.), Saadla Gaon (q.v.) would often consult him with regard 
to scientific matters. Philosophical and astronomical commen¬ 
tary, much like that of Donash ibn Tamim (q.v.}, originally 
written in Arabic. Existent in manuscript, Biblioteque 
National* Paris, and in translation by Nachum T!aM&arabi.‘ n 
A fragment of this translation was published by Yehudah Leib 
Dukes. Kunlres HaMaesom, Tubingen, 1846, pp, 5-10. 

Y'osef (ben Shalom) Ashkenazi. 14th century. According to most 
scholars, he is the author of the commentary primed under the 
name of Abraham ben David (Raavad, q.v.). Possibly identi¬ 
fied with Yosef HaArukh. Existent in manuscript. British 
Museum, Gaster 4!5, 14th century.* 4 

Yosef Edds (Ashkenazi), Birkat Yosef, Kabbalistk commentary on 
Gra Version, based on teachings of the Ari. Salon ica. 1831* 

Yosef Ha-Arukh (Joseph the Tall), 14th century. See Yosef Ashke¬ 
nazi, Abraham ben David. R, Moshe Cordevero cites the com- 





SEFER VETZIRAH 


memory on the Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, appearing in 
commentary of Abraham ben David (Raavad. q.v.J* and aitri- 
bates them to Yosef HiAnddu 1 ’ However, in a number of 
places, R, Moshe Botril cites a commentary' by R. Yosef 
HaArukh on Sefer Yetzirah, and it does not coincide with 
Raavad. 41 * 

Yosef Gikaiaiia, 1248-1323, One of the greates Kabbaliscs. best 
known for his Shaarey Otah, first published in Riva di Trento. 

1561,a year before the first edition of Scfer Yetzirah, The sec¬ 
ond chapter of his Ginat Egoz is essentially a commentary of 
Sefer Yeizirah, Primed in Hannan, 1615, 2* 75 JJC; Zolktcv, 
1773, Mohdov, 1798, 4'; Hannan edition reprinted anony¬ 
mously around 1970, 

Yosef of Sapom. A fragment of his commentary is quoted by R, 
Moshe Botril (!d2). 

Yosef Sar Shalom. 15th century. His commentary is mentioned by 
R. Aaron AlRabi in his supercommentary to Rashid 1 

Yosef ben t.'ziel, said to be a disciple of the prophet Jeremiah. See 
Introduction, notes 42, 43. 

Yosef Or. Sec Bent/ion Moshe Yair Weinstock. 


Translations 


Arabic 

Sand in Goon, 891-941, In Siddur of Saadiu Gaon. Oxford, Ms. David 
Oppenheim 1010." 


Czech 


Otakar Gricse. 1921. 

English 

Akiva ben Joseph (pseudonym), The Kwh of Formation, 1970, 

M. DoreaL Sepher Yetzirah. Translation and analysts, Denver, 1941, 
48 pp. 


ropvriqhte 




Appendix /I 


335 


Alfred Edefsheim, 1825-1889, in his book, The Life and Times of 
Jesus. London, 1884 (and other editions), Vol. 2, pp* 
692-698. 

Irving Friedman, The Book of Creation. Translation and comments, 
Samuel Weiser* York Beach, MB, 1977, 

Isidor Kalisb, “Sepher Yezira, a Book on Creation or the Jewish Met¬ 
aphysics of Remote Antiquity," With preface, explanatory 
notes and glossary . In A Sketch of the Htlrnud, New York, 
1877, 8° 57 pp. 

Phineas Mordel, Sefer Yetzirah , Hebrew text and translation in a new 
version deduced logically by the author, but not accepted in 
kabbaIistic or scholarly circles, Philadelphia, 1894, 2, 10 pp, 

. __ The Origin of Letters and Numerate according to the Sefer 

Yetzirah. Same as above* but introduction contains important 
historical data and quotes significant manuscripts. Originally 
published in Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series 2:557*583 
(1912), 3:517-544 (1913). Published separately, Philadelphia, 
1914. Reprinted by Samuel Weiser* York Beach, ME, 1975. 

Saul Raskin, in Kabbalah in Word and Image. Hebrew text with 
English and Yiddish translation. New York* 1952, 80 pp. 
Illustrated. 

Knut Sen ring. The Book of Formation (Sepher Yetzirah), With intro¬ 
duction by Arthur Edward Waite. New York, 1923, 62 pp. 
Reprinted by Ktav, New York, 1970, 

Wilham Wynn Westcott* Sepher Yetzirah, the Bottk of Formation. 
Based on text of Riliangd (q.v.), London, 1887. Reprinted 
with additional notes as a volume of CoHectanes Her mat sea. 
London. 1893. 43 pp. Primed separately* London* 1911* 49 
pp. The 1893 edition was reprinted by Samuel Weiser* York 
Beach, ME, 1975. 


French 

Co ml esse Calomira de Cimara. Sepher Yetzirah. Paris, 1913, 4* 27 

pp, 

Gerard Encausese (Papus)* Sefer Yetzira. Paris, 1888. 

Karppc. Etude sur te.% Origines .. „ du Zohar t Paris. 1901* pp* 
139-158. 

Meyer Lambert, Commentate sur te Sefer Yesirah; Our Livre Cre¬ 
ation par le Gaon Saadja de Fay you m r Paris, 1891* pp. Ml* 



336 


SEFER VETZ1RAH 


German 

E. Bisehof, 1913. 

Lazarus (Eiie^er) Goldschmidt, Das Buck der SchOpfimg (Sepher 
Jest rah)* With introduction, bibliography and notes, Hebrew 
texts compare alt primed editions. A valuable reference work/' 9 
Frankfort am Mein, IS94 r 92 pp. 

Yohlfln Freidrich von Meyer, Das Such Yezirah: die Abler 
Kabbalistischen Urunded der Hebrder. Hebrew text and Ger¬ 
man translation. Leipzig, 1830, 4* 36 pp. 

Frieherr Albert von Thimus, Die Harmanikale Shmbobk des 
Alter (hums . Analysis of Sefer Yetzifih. K6ln, J 86 8-7 6 h Vol. 2. 


Hungarian 

Bda Tennen, A Tererntes Kanyr t Budapest, 1931, 62 pp. 


Italian 

5, Savini t 1923. 


Latin 

Athanasius Kirscher, Werkc Oedipus Aegyptacus 2:1, Rome, 1653, w 

Johannes Pistorius (John Fistor), 1546-1608, “Liber de Creations 
Cabaiistinis, Hebraic? Sep/ter Jezira; Author® Abrahamo," in 
his Artis Cahahsticae hoc est Recanditae Jheologiac et 
Phihsophiae Scriporum. Some scholars attribute this transla¬ 
tion to Johann Reuchlin, or to Paul Ricci (an apostate Jew who 
also translated Yosef GikataLia’i Shmrey Grab into Latin), 11 
At the end of British Museum Ms. 740. there is a note that it 
was written in 1488 by a Jew, Yitzchak of Rome, Basilic, 1587, 
Voi, L pp. 869-872, 

Guletmus Poslellus (Willtarn Postellk 1510-1581, Abrahami P&rri- 
arehiT Liber Jezirah sive Fonnationis Mu tub. Patnhtts quidem 
A bn i ha mi tempora pr&demibus revolatvs. First translation of 
Sefer Yetzirah. This translation is based on the Short Version, 
but in a somewhat different form than that published in the 
Mantua, 1562 edition, A similar version is found in some ear- 



material 



Appendix TV 


Y37 


tier manuscripts. This translation was published ten years 
before the first Hebrew edition. Paris^ 1552, 16° &4 pp. 

Joanne Stephano Rittangelio (John Stephan Rittangel). 1606-1652, 
Uber Jezimkt qui Abrahamos Patriarchs Adscrihitur, unaeum 
Comment ario Rabi Abraham F.D . super 32 j emit is Sapient iit. 
a quibus Liber Jtzirah incipit. Contains Hebrew' text, commen¬ 
tary of R, Abraham ben David (Raavad, q + v.X and the Thirty- 
Two Paths of Wisdom. Notes and Illustrations, Amsterdam, 
1642, 4* 208, 8 pp. 


Yiddish 

Saul Raskin. Kabbalah in Word and Image, Contains Hebrew text 
with English and Yiddish translations. New York, 1952. 80 pp. 



Copyrighted material 



NOTES 


Copy rig hied material 



Copyrighted material 



Nates 


Ml 


Introduction 


L This is discussed at length in ray Meditation and Kabbalah, and 
Meditation and the Bible {York Beach* ME: Samuel Weiser), 

2, Kuzari 4:27. 

3, Rarodoni. p. 100. This is in the British Museum, Ms, 600. See 
M. Marguiiot, Catalogue of Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts 
in the British Museum, Vol, 2, p, 197, Also in the Vatican, Ms, 
299. and the British Museum, Ms. 752. Another account also 
states that Rava and Rav Zeira gazed {tzafah) in the Se/er 
Yeizirah for three years (Barcelona p. 26S). 

4, Thus, in a number of places in the text. the word Tzar is used 
instead of Yatzar This is more easily read in the imperative 
than in the third person past. 

5, Sanhedrin 67b* Barcelona, lac ciL Also sec Shuichart Antkh, Yoreh 
Dealt 179:15, S(fre> j Cohen 179:18: Tshum Radbaz 3:405, 

6, Yehudah ben Nissim ibn Malka. Commentary on Se/er Yeizirah 
(Oxford, Ms, 1536), quoted in George Yajda. Juda ben Nissim 
ibn Malta, Phihsophe juif Marocain, {Paris, 1954), p. 171; 
Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah and its Symbolism , (New York, 
1969), p, 177. There is some question as to whether this Raziel 
is the same as the published edition. Abraham Abulafia also 
mentions having studied this book, see Sheva Netivot 
HaChakhmah, in A. Jot 1 1 nek. Philosophic und Kabbalah t (Leip¬ 
zig. 1854), p. 21, 

7 h A,M. Habermann, 10:3b (1974) with regard to Gemza 
fragment Taylor-Sehechter 32:5, This is the Saadia Version, 
which is the longest. 

8, Yisrael Weinstock, “LeBirur HaNusach shel Sefer Yetzirah,” 
Ibnirtn 1 :20* note 41, 1:16, note 31. 

9* See NCedar BaKodesh, Shaarey Teton. 

10, Barcelona p, 105, In the Pistons translation, chapters five and 
six arc combined, as well as in many manuscripts. See 
Wemstock. loc. tit., note 33. The divisions in Donash and 
Chakamoni were put in by the printer, and do not exist in the 
original manuscripts. 

H. Saadi a Garni, Commentary on Sefer J etzirah, translated into 
Hebrew' by Yosef Kapach (Jerusalem. 1972), p. 34. 

12, See Introduction to Raziel; Shimushey TehdUm in Tshuvot 
Rashba 413; R, Moshc Cordevero, Commentary on Zohar Shir 



342 


5EFER YETZLRAH 


H sSA/rvntJeniHkn^ Ms. 4 r 74), in G. Scholem. Kitvey Yad 
Ba Kabbalah, p. 233-4. 

13. See Bahir, Ed. Reuven Margolios (Jerusalem 1951}, Nos, 95. 
\0U ICh6„ 

14. Saadia Gaon, pp. 17, 33, 

15. Hai Gaon, quoted in Bachya on Exodus 34:6, Pardes Rimonim 
11:1, Kerem Chomed 8:57; Donas h, pp, 16,26, Chakamoni fin 
Warsaw, 1884 edlion). p, 66a, Kuzari 4:25 (Warsaw, 1880), 42a; 
Or HaShem 4:10 (Vienna. I860}. 90b, Tzioni on Genesis 12:5; 
Nissim ben Yaakov, introduction to his commentary on Sefer 
Yetzirah. quoted in Goldschmidt, Das Bueh der SchOpfitng 
(Frankfort am Mein, 1894), p. 31, note 2 + Rabbi Abraham 
Abulafia, however, apparently was not certain as to the author¬ 
ship, and writes, “let it be whoever ii is." Or HaSekhel 4:2 (Vati¬ 
can. Ms. 233), p, 48b, quoted in Landauer. Litteraiurblatt des 
Orients (OLB) 1846, Goldschmidt, p. 8. note 4, 

16. Zahar (Toacfta) 2;275b end. Zohar Chadmh 37c; Raziel (Amster¬ 
dam, 1701), 8b, [New York. Margolies. no dale. p. 17], 

17. See note 3, Cf. Barceloni, p. 268. 

18. Saadia. p, 33. 

19. Barceloni, p. lOO, 

20. Zohar 1:37b. 

2L Tzioni ad toe., Raavad on Sefer Ycizirah 6:4. 

22. Abraham left Haran at God's command when he was 75 years 
old (Genesis 12:4). According to most authorities. Abraham 
made the covenant with God mentioned in Genesis 15 when he 
was 70 years old, before he left Haran. See Seder Oiam Kabbah 
1, Mekhilta on Exodus 12:40, Ram ban. Sifsei Chaehaminu 
ibid.; Rashi. Sanhedrin 92b, “U'Ta'uf Tosefat, ShabbaT 10b, 
^VeShei* Avodah Zarah 9a, 44 UGetmriD Rosh, Yebamol 6:12. 
This covenant may have been related to the system of Sefer 
Yelzirah* see below, chapter 1, note 70. See R. Eliezer of 
Wormes, Commentary on Sefer Yeiztrah. p„ la. 

23. See note 95, Also see Zohar 1:79a. 2:198a. 

24. Barceloni. p. 266. Cf Botril on 1:1; Saadia B {Munich. Ms. 40), 
p. 77a. quoted in Scbolem, Kabbalah and Us Symbolism, p. 171* 
Also see Saadia, p. I4U Barceloni, p. 99, 

25. Pest km Chadata, in A, I el I i nek, Bet HaMidrash (Leipzig, 1853), 
6:36, quoted in Barceloni, p, 268, Sefer Rokeach (Jerusalem, 
1967), p. 19, and in translation, in Sdiolem, Kabbalah and its 
Symbolism, p, 178, See chapter 2, note 61. 

26. Genesis 14:18. Rashi. Targum J, ad toe. Psalm 110:4. Nedarim 
32b. Ran ad toe , l Malki Tiodek ; Radak. RaJbag. on Joshua 
10 : 1 . 



irial 



Sctes 


343 


27. Pirkey Rabbi Eticzer 48 (Warsaw, 1852), 1 16a. It is also taught 
that Moses studied the letters on Mount Sinai, Ibid. 46 
(110b). 

28. Bara Batra 16b. Abraham was considered a leading figure in his 
time, Kiddushin 32b. Ramban of Genesis 40:14. 

29. Pirkey Rabbi Ehezer 8 ( 18b), Ran, loc, at, 

30. Shabbat 156a. 

31. Avodah Zarah 14b. Cl Barceloni. p. 100. 

32. Sanhedrin 91b, Be'er Shota. ad foe,. Zahar 1:99b, 1:133b. 
1:233*, Barceloni, p. 159, 

33. Shnei Luchot HaBrit , Torah SheBeK'tav: VaYeshev (Lvov, I860}, 
3:65a; Pitcher Tshuvah Yorah Deah 62:2. See Yerushalmi Peak 
1:1, Rashi on Genesis 37:2. 

34. Berakhoi 55a. Cf Barceloni, p. 102, Raavad on 6:4, Metzaref 
LeChakhmah (Jerusalem, n.d,) r 28a, Also see Ramban on Exo¬ 
dus 31:3. According to Rash], the “knowledge” mentioned in 
this verse refers to Ruach HaKodesh . 

35. Tanchuma, Pekudey 2 r Zahar 2:162b, 

36. Pesikta Chadata. in Bet RaMidrash 6:37, A similar tradition is 
attributed to R. Yehudah ben Raiirah in his Sefer Bitachon, said 
to be quoted by R. Chamai Caon in his Sefer HaYichud (this 
book is quoted in Pardes Rimanim ll:4) T cited in 
HaKodesh 3:17 (Warsaw, 1894), 80a Chelkak MeChokak on 
Erven HaEzer 1:8, This is also found in Jewish Theological 
Seminary, Ms. HaJberstam 444, p, 20G. and in Latin in Johanne 
Rcuchiin. De Arte Cabahistka (1603), coL 759, Also see Miyah 
(Korctz, 1784), 36a, Yalkui Reuveni (Warsaw, 1884)* 20b; R, 
Yehudah HaChasid, Sefer HaGematria, quoted by Abraham 
Epstein. Beiirdge zur Itidhchen Aftertumsfomde (Vienna, 1887), 
pp, 5 22-3; Saadia B. introduction to Sefer Yetzirah, published 
by M. Steinschncider, Magazin fur die Wissensehaft das 
Judentums, 1892, p, 83, Also see Rav Pa'aiim (Warsaw, 1894), 
p. 41. For English translation, see Scholem T Kabbalah and its 
Symbolism, pp + 178-180: Phineas MordelL The Origin of Letters 
& Numera/s According to the Sefer Yetzirah (New York. 1975), 
pp, 5l f 52. 

37. Alfa Beta deBen Si rah, in Otzar Midrashim. p. 4.3. Cf Chelkat 
Mechokek on Evven HaEzer 1:8, Mishnah LaMelekh on Yad. 

Ishut 15:4, See Rahi. Chagigah 15a. “BeAmhati” 

38. Sefer Maharif beginning of Likutim at end of book (Jerusalem, 
1969), 8 5a, 

39. Bet Cbadash, on 7hr Yoreh Deah 195 "VeLo" (77b): Turey Zahaw 
Yoreh Deah 95:7: Bet Shmitef Ewen HaEzer 1:10, Birkey- Yosef 
Erven HaEzer 1:14, Tshuvot /?, Yaakov Emdin 2:97, Tshumt 



344 


SEFER YETZ1RAH 


Task bar z 3:263; Packed Yitzchak 'Ben BUo rt (30a), According 
to some sources, Rav Zetra and Rav Pappa were bom in the 
same manner, see Alfa Beta DeBen Sir ah, Otzar Midrashim p, 
43, Yuchsin (Jerusalem 1962), 39c, Tzemach David (Warsaw, 
1878), p. 26, Seder HaDorot, Tanaim VeAmoraim, R. Zeira 3 
(Warsaw, 1882), VoL 2, p. 59c. 

40. Yosef ben Uzid is mentioned at the beginning of Alfa Bela DeBen 
Strok (Ed, Stcinschneitkr, Berlin, 1858), in Otzar Midrashim p. 35. 
There is also a dispute between Uriel. son of Ben Sirah. and Yosef 
ben Uzid, Ibid. p. 36. Also see pp. 37, 39. There is also a treatise 
called Bareita ojAbsefben Uziel. which is said to be based on teach¬ 
ings that Jeremiah revealed to him, sec Leipzig, Ms. 30, p. 12, A. 
Epstein. HaCkoker Cracow-Vienna. 1893-95, 2:41; MordeU, p. 48. 
This Bareiia is apparently quoted in Recanti on Genesis 3:24 (15c). 
This Yosef ben Uziel may be identified as the great-grandfather of 
J udith, She is described as “Judith, daughter of Merari, son of Ox, 
son of Joseph, son of Gziel, son of HeUcias" (Apocrypha Judith 
8:1). Hclkias or Chitkiah of course, is the father of Jeremiah (LI), 
and Lhc generations of Jeremiah and Ben Sirah may have been 
eliminated from the text, perhaps due to the sensitivity regarding 
the birth of the latter. In another source, Judith is identified as a 
41 daughter of the prophets/* see Nissim ben Yaakov, Chibur Yafeh 
(Amsterdam, 1746k 22a. Bet HaMidrash 1:130, Qtzar Midrashim 
p. 104. QC Ran. Shabbai (on Rif 10a. top), Kt>l Bo 44, Shukhan 
Arukh , Orach Chaim 670:2 in Dagah See further, }btzer lor second 
Sabbath of Chanukah, end. 

41. Paris. Ms, 762, British Museum Ms. 15299, quoted by J.L. 
Barges in Sefer Tagin <ed. Schncur Zaks, Paris 1866), and also 
quoted by Mordell, p, 49. 

42. Rav Pa’aiim. p. 66, Seder HaDaroi, Sefanm, Sefer Yeizirah ; 
Otzar Sefarim. Yud 386. There is a manuscript that concludes, 
“Thus ends the Mishnah of Abraham and the Mishnah of Yosef 
ben Uziel,” Oxford, Ms. 1947:3, described in Neubauer, Cata¬ 
logue of the Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 
1886-1906), 1947:3; Gddsmidt, p. 1 L note 2. Also see Oxford, 
Ms. David Gppenheim 965, This is discussed at length in 
Moidcll, pp. 47-50. See chapter 5, note 3S, 

43. Bava Batra 15a, Maaseh Bereshit was also revealed to Daniel, 
see Seder Oiam Rabhah 29 (Jerusalem. 1971). p. 102; Tanrta 
DeRei Eliahu Rabbah 17 (Jerusalem. 1963), 79b. from Daniel 
2:19. Regarding a similar revelation to Ezra, see Apocrypha. 2 
Esdras 14:44. 

44. Berakhot 33a, These were not put in writing, and were there¬ 
fore forgotten, see Megillak 18a, 


ropyrigh 





345 


45. Yentshalm. Sanhedrin 7:13 (4 6a), according to reading in 
Frank, La Cabbaiah, p. 77. 

46. Avot 2:8, Succafo 28a. Bam Batra 134a, 

47. Chagigah 14b, Tosefta 2, He was also expert in magic, see 
Sanhedrin 68a. See Yosef Tzayach, Tzartir HaChaim, Jews Col- 
lege, London. Ms. 318, p. 32a. 

48. Sefer HaTdggin {Paris, 1866), in Oizar Midrmhim p. 564 T also 
quoted in Machzor Vim (Berlin, 1889), p 674, See chapter 3* 
note 38. 

49. Avoi 2:8. 

50. Chagigah 14b. Tosefta 2; Zohar Ckodash 7a. See Rada), intro¬ 
duction to Pirkey Rabbi Ehezer 6b. 

51. We thus Find ihat he went to the river Di&mas, see Shabhm 
S47a, Rashi. ad loc. a ,4ufl/ Rabbi Nathan 14:6. In another source, 
however, we find that he went to Emmaus where his wife was. 
Kohelet Rahbah on 7:7. See Ncubauer. Geographic du Talmud 
(Pans, 1868), p. 100: Oizar Yisraet 2:79. 

52. Midrash Tanairft on Deuteronomy 26:13 (Ed. David Tzvi Hoff- 
man, Berlin, 1908}* p, 1 75. See my introduction to The Bahir * 
note 37. Also see below* chapter 4 t note 5. Emma us was a town 
near Tiberias, 

53. Bam Batra I Ob; Hekheht Rabbatai 16:3 (Baiev Midrashot 
1:92). 

54. Chagigah 2:1 (16a). See discussions in Bavli and Yerushafmi. aci 
toe, 

55. Antiquities 15:10:5 (Tr. William Whiston; New York, n,d,}, p. 
471. See Yuehsm 9d, Shatshehi IlaKabbattih (Jerusalem, 1962), 
p. 57* Seder HaDorot , Tanaim, VeAmoraim, '‘"Menachem.” 
Samius mentioned in Antiquities 14:10:4 is most probably 
Shammai. 

56. Wars 2:8:1, 12, 

57. Antiquities 15:10:4, p. 471. 

58. Minachot 29b. A text on the subject is also ascribed to him. see 
Batey Midrashot 2:471, See chapter 3. note 38. 

59. Chagigah 14b, He also learned the magical spells involving 
cucumbers from Rabbi Yehoshua, Sanhedrin 6Sa. 

60. He was thus the only one of the four who entered Paradise who 
"'emerged in peace,"’ Chagigah 14b, He was able to describe syn¬ 
esthesia. a common experience of the mystical state, see 
Mekbilta on Exodus 20:15. it was he who also taught lhat God 
cannot be seen in even the most abstract vision, see Mekhilta 
on Exodus 20:4, Rarcdoni, p, 14, 

61. Pardes Rimonim 1:1; R Yitzchak de Lattes* responsum at 
beginning of Zohar Shalshelei Ha Kabbalah, p. 63. Pardes 



346 


SEFER Vt rZtRAH 


Rimonim was completed in 1548. and first published in Salom 
ica, 15S4. The responsum of R. Yitzchak de Lattes was written 
in 1558. Shalshetel Ha Kabbalah was first published in Venice. 
1587, This, then, appears to be the time that this tradition was 
in circulation. 

62. It is thus taught that an anonymous Mishnah is Rabbi Meir, 
Tosefta is Rabbi Nehemiah, St fra is Rabbi Yehudah, Sifri is 
Rabbi Shimon (bar Yochai), and all follow Rabbi Akiba, 
Sanhedrin 86a, Iggeref Sheri rah Gaon (Jerusalem. 1972), p 27. 
Also see Gif lit i 67a. Rashi. ad toe. "Guard' Aval Rabbi Nathan 
18:1, Tosefta, Zavim 1:2. A mishnah of Rabbi Akiba is men- 
boned in Sanhedrin 5:4 (27b), Tosefta. Maaser Shew 2:13; Shir 
HaShirim Rabbah 8:1. Koheiet Rabbah 6:2. This is apparently 
related to ihe “first Mishnah” which we find in Eduyoi 7:2. 
Gatin 5:6 (55b), Nazir 6:1 (34b}. See Mahantz Chayot, Toma 
53b. 

63. Rerakhot 47a, Shabbat 15a. Bekhoroi 5a. Eduyoi 1:3, See 
Rambam, introduction to Mishnah, introduction to Yad. See 
Maharitz Chayot, Shabbat 6b, 

64. See note 62. 

65. Rambam. introduction to Mishnah. introduction to Yad: 
Tkhumi Sheri rah Gaon. Cf. Yebamot 49a, Sanhedrin 57b, 
Minachot 70a, Chuim 60b. YerushaimL Berakhot 9:5 (68a), 
Maharitz Chayot, Shabbat 6b. See Saadi a, p. 33, that Sefer 
Yetzirah was likewise preserved 

66. Rashi. Shabbat 6b. ‘Megillatf 

67. Introduction to Yad. 

68. Chayot. Sotah 20a. from Rereshif Rabbah 9:5, 20:29, 
Ycnuhaimi, Taunt t 1:1 (3a), See Sefer Chasidim 282, as well as 
Eruvtn 21b, 54b, Shnei Luchot HaBril 3:231a. 

69. Rashi, toe. cit .. Bava Metzia 92a, "Megdlat ” 

70. Chagigah 2:1 (II b). 

71. See my Meditation and Kabbalah , chapter 2:1, 

72. Hekhaiai Rabatai 1 : 1 , Tshuvat Hm Gaon , in Sheelot i ! Tshuvot 
HaGaonim (Lyck. 1864), I#99), quoted in HaKotev on Eyin 
Yaakov. Chagigah 14b (#11); Otzar HaGaonim, Chelek 
NaTshuvoi. Chagigah. p, 14; R, Chananel on Chagigah 14b. 
Arukh, "Avrtey Shay is h." Tor philosopher’s opinion, see Yad . 
Yesodey HaTorah 2:12. 4:13; Rambam on Chagigah 2:1, March 
Nevuchim, introduction to part 3; Or HaShem 4:10 (90a, b). 

73. Rashi (in Eyin Yaakov\ Chagigah Mb, "Ain Donkin" (Cf 
Rashi. Chagigah 13a, "Sitrey Torah," where he also includes 
Sefer Yeizirahy Kazan 4:25 (53a), see Kol Yehtidah, ad toe.: Or 
HaShem 4:10 (90b), Metzaref LeChakhmah 6 (23a, b). 


Copyriql 



Notes 


347 


74. We thus find that a disciple of Rabbi Yehudah the Prince 
expounded upon the Markava before him, YerushalmL 
Chagigah 2:1 (9a top), 

75. So in Tosefoi. Giitin 56a "Agfa," Bekhorot 19a DeHach .' Cf 
Rashi, Sanhedrin 65b. Shahball la, Erwin 63a, Pesachim 68a. 
Arukh, Tte 8 Targum J, Ibn Ezra on Genesis 15:9* where 
other interpretations are found. Some say that it indicates a 
‘‘three year o3d calf,” while others, “a calf a third the sise of its 
mother," 

76. Sanhedrin 65b, Cf. Fesikia Chadata, Bet HaMidra&h 6:36, 
which slates that they are the tongue for the Saturday night 
meal. 

77 r Sanhedrin 67b. 

78. We thus find the term, “rules pf medicine” {hitkhot raftta ), 
Yerwhahni. Yevamot 8:2 (47a), Sifri (247) on Deuteronomy 
23:2. We also find an expression, “It is a rule (haiakhah) that 
Esau hates Jacob,” Sifri on Numbers 9:10, Rashi on Genesis 
33:4, 

79. Barceloni, p. 268- Vatican, Ms. 299 T 66a. 

80. SareelonL p. 103. Cf Yad Ramah. Sanhedrin 65b. 

31. Ner Ehhim, quoted in G. Scbolem, HaKabbalah she! Sefer 
Hctemunah VeSehl Abraham Abu/afia (Jerusalem, 1965), p, 

217, 

82. Tshuvol Rashba 413. 

83. Sanhedrin 17b. Pumpadita was founded, in the year 255, and 
stood for some 800 years. 

84. Chagigah 13a. Cf Maharsha, ad toe , Note that on the bottom 
of this Folio, Rav Yehudah explains the ChashmaJ. 

85. See Rashash ad lac. 

86. See note 34. 

87. Shabhat 156a. See note 30, See chapter 3, note 38. 

88. Kiddushin 7la. Some say that ibis Name is the essence of 
Maaseh Bereshii, Tosefot, Chagigah l lb "Ain Dorshin. * The 42 
letter name is actually derived from the first verses of Genesis, 
see Zahar 3:30a, Tikuney Zokar 13a, Peiiyah 37b, Sefer 
HaKanah (Cracow, 1894), 8Sa. Pardes Rimonim 21:13, It is sig- 
rtificani to note that the initial letters of Maaseh RereskiL Mem 
Bet, spell out the number 42. 

89. Shabbat 41a. 

90. Ibid ! 2a, SomH 33a. 

91. Chagigah 13a. 

92. Rashi states that the text of Hakhabt Rabatai was the essence 
of Maaseh Markava, Rashi (in Eyin Yaakov) on Chagigah I lb. 
See note 72. 


iqhted material 



14& 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


93, See note 16. Also see Reyah Mekenuta, Zohar 2:187b; Ttkuney 
Zahar 70 (132b end). It is significant that most commentators 
on Sefer Yetlirah* even those as late as R. Moshc Botril who 
lived over a century after the Zahar was published, do not quote 
the Zohar* 

94, Chagigah 13a. 

95, YerushalmL, Sanhedrin 7: 13 (4 la). Bereshit Rahbah 39:14, 84:4, 
Tatichuma, Lech Lecha 12, This is also stated anonymously in 
Sifri (32) to Deuteronomy 6:5* Avot Rabbi Nathan 12:7* Rabbi 
Eiazar said many things in the name of R. Kwi ben Ztmra* cf 
Bemkhoi 32b. 

96, Midrash Tchiliim 3:2 (17a), Bracketed portion is not in all edi¬ 
tions. There is also a teaching that God placed the Sefer Yetzirah 
in the Torah, see Ret HaMidrash 6:36, 

97, Sanhedrin 65b. 

98, Chulin L 22a end- 

99, Bava Meizia 35b. See below, chapter 3. note 11. R, Zeira also 
had his throat slit and was miraculously resurrected, SfegiHah 
7b. 

100- Barceloni. p. 268, Cf Bet HaMutrash 6:36, 

lDl. Sanhedrin 65b, Rashi says that they accomplished this using the 
Sefer Yetzirahj also sec Raavad on 6:4, Metzaref LeChakhmah 
27a. b. There is a question as to whether this was an actual cre¬ 
ation or an illusion, cf Yad Ramah. ad loe,. Barceloni, pp, I02 s 
J 03 r Tskuvoi Radhaz 3:405, Bet Yosef on Yoreh Deah 179, 
Tshuvot Maharshal 98. Some authorities here read Rabbah 
instead of Rava, sec Vaakov Erndia ad loc.. Margo has on Bahir 
196. 

102. Bahir 196. Cf. Awdai HaKtide&h 3 : 9 ; Hillel of Verona, Tagmtdey 
HaNefesh (Lyck. 1874), 9b, R am ban on Genesis 2:7. 

103. Cf. Tshuvot Chatham Tzvi 93. 

104. PcHyah 2c: “He reversed his name (R&4) and created (BRA)C 

105. Targum J. on Genesis 1:27. The sum 612 is also the numerical 
value of Brit, meaning covenant. See bdow 1:3, 1:8. 

3 06, It ]$ significant that, when written ibis way. Abracadabra con¬ 
tains the word BRA [Bara)* meaning to create, while the 
remaining Letters add up to 26. the numerical value of the Teira- 
gramma ion. Abracadabra is usually written in descending order, 
and similar devices are found, see Rashi, Avodah Zarah 12b, 
Raziel 40b (139), Gra on Sefer Yetzirah 2:4. 

107, Barceloni, p, 102, 

108. Quoted in Barceloni. p. 104, Also see note 72, 

3 09. Sasoon Mi 2 18. p. 22. described in Ohet Dawid (Oxford, 1932), 
p. 27L Also see L, Zunz, Literaturgcschichte (Berlin, 1865), p. 


Copyrighted material 




WflfH 


349 


32, Nehemiah Aloni* HaShitah HaAnOgramil shel HaMdonut 
BeSefer Yetzirah, Temirin 1:69 <Jerusalem, 1972). Cf A, Mirski, 
Sinai 65:184 (1929); Idem , lfcttwl /frtfu/tm (Tel Aviv, 1958), 
pp, 17*23. 

1 10. See Bareha DeShmuei HoKatcm, beginning of chapter 5. 

111. BaMidbar Rabbah ! 4:12. All the sevens in Sefer Yetzirah are 
also mentioned in another early Mid rash, Pirkey Rabbi £1 tester 
18 (43b, 44a), see below 4:7, 

112, Temirin , p. 21. 

113* Don ash ihn Tamim. Commentary on Sefer Yetzimh (London. 
1902), p. 65; Barceloni, p, 138, See above, note 68. 

114. Yaakov ben Nissan, Commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, Munich, 
Ms. 92:20, quoted in Goldschmidt, p, 30, note 4. 

115. See Revue des Editdes Juives (REJ) 105:133-1 36, 140; Temirin, 
p~ 11* 

116. Otzar Eden HaGanuz (Oxford, Ms. Or 606), p. 78b. 

117. Saadia. p. 34, 

118. Barcelona pp. 105, 116, 211; Donash, p. 49. 

119. Ramak, Commentary on Sefer Yetzimh 1:13 (Jerusalem, Ms, S* 
2646:2) T p. 10b. Cf. G, Scholem, Kitvey Yad BaKabbaiah (Jeru¬ 
salem. 1930), p, 93. Also see Pardes Rimonim 21:16. 

120. Introduction to Perush HaGra on Sefer DeTzeniuta (Vilna, 
1843), p. iv. TheGra used ten versions, choosing that of the Axi, 
but correcting certain errors in the primed editions. 


Chapter One 


L Kuzari 4:25 (43a-44a). 

2. Raavad, ad toe., Tikitney Zahar Chadash 112c. PeUyah 213a, 
Par des Rimonim 12:1, Afavo Shaarim 5:2:6, Eiz Chaim, Shaar 
HaTzelem 2. 

3. /Iwf 5:1. 

4. BaMidbar Rabbah 14:12. 

5. Rash HaShanah 32a, MegiUah 2la, Zahar LI 5a, 1:16b, 
7 Varney Zohar 12 (27a), Sec note 185. 

6. Raavad, ad toe., PeUyah 49c. 

7 + Bahir 106* Barceloni, p. IQ6 S Tikuney Zohar 30 (75a). 

&. See chapter 6, note 57. Cf. Isaac of Acco, tid lac., p. 381/1. 

9. Barceloni. p. 107. Isaac of Acco, Otzar Chaim (Moscow, Ms, 
Guenzburg 775), p. 1 lib, Cf Bahir 147. There is thus a tradi* 


C 



m alen 



350 


SEFER YETZJRAH 


tion lhai God placed the Sefer Yetzirah in the Torah, we Bet 
fiuSefer 6:36, Chakamorii (in Warsaw* 1884 edition | T 66a. Also 
sec Otioi DeRahhi Akiha , end of Bet. 

10. Peiiyoh 2d. Recanti (Lvov, 1880}, 18c* fggerei HaTiyai Chetek 
HaSod 2, 

1L See R. Yosef Tzayyach, Evven HaShoham {Jerusalem. Ms. 8' 
416), p. 24a. The general formula for the array discussed below, 
1 ;2, ti 1 In— l* and 32 is one of the only powers of two that ful¬ 
fills this when n is an integer* 

12, Zohar 2:31a bottom, See Chotem TakJvnt (Amsterdam* 1865}* 
p 101* Hirsch on Psalms 119:35* Also see Ramban on Sefer 
Yetzirah (Jerusalem. Ms. 8 C 330:28. published by G. Scholem. 
Atryttf Sefer * Vol. 6. 1930), p. 402/2* Isaac of Acco on Sefer 
Yetzirah 283/3. 

13, See Raavad, Saatiia, Ram ban. ad loc. Also see Genesis 18:14, 
Exodus 15:11, 8:18* Leviticus 22:21, Deuteronomy I7:8 r Judges 
13:18, Psalms 139:6* and commentaries ad loc„ especially 
Hirsch. 

14, Zdtar 3:193b. 

15, M, Miyah 30a, 

16, Bahir 141, Maarekhet Eiohm (Mantua. 1558), p, 83b, Tikuney 
Zahar 52 (87a), 19 (41 bL 

17, Bahir 141. See Chagigah 13a* Ecdesiaslicus 3:21, Note that this 
is attributed to Ben Sirah, who. according to tradition, was 
involved with the Sefer Yetzirah. Regarding quoting from Ben 
Sirah. see Ritva (in Eyirt Yaokov), Bava Batra 98b. 

IS, Shaarey Ora ft 10. Also see TSkuney Zohar 42 f8lb), 

19. Raziel9b(22). 

20. Sec Ramban. p, 402, 

21. Avot 4: l, An. ad loc., Shaar Maamarey Chazal {Tel Aviv, 196!), 
p. 32a, 6Sa. Cf. Rashi on Exodus 31:3. 

22. Toitiot Yaakov Yosef Pehtdey (Warsaw, 1881), p. 78b, quoted in 
Sefer Baal Sherri To\\ Ki Telzc, note l, 

23. Tamid 32a, See note 37. 

24. Ibn Ezra on Exodus 31:3. Hirsch on Genesis 41:33. 

25. Shaarey Orah 8. Also see 7kr, Orach Chaim 5. 

26. Parries Rimonim 27:27. See note 65. 

27. Berakhot 6la, Tikuney Zohar 13b, 14b* 17a. See note 8. 

28. See chapter 6* note 57. Also see Zohar 2:201a. When the word 
Chakhmah is spelled out, it adds up to 613, Raziel 12a. The 
letters of the word Chakhmah also spell out Koach Mah, “the 
strength of What." Zohar 3:28a, 3:235b. Tikuney Zohar 69 
(102b), The word Koach * however, has a numerical value of 28. 
When the final letters are counted* there are 27 letters in the 


Copyrighted material 



Ar.'ffJ 


35 i 


Hebrew alphabet. The number 28, then, represents the level 
above this, which cannot be expressed with tetters, Peliyah 2b. 

29. See Hirsch on Genesis 26:5, 47:22. Exodus 15:25. 

30. Thus, writing by erasing is called Chak 1bkhot, Giriin 20a, Shut- 
chan Arukh, Orakh Chaim 32;IS. Also see Qrzar Chaim 202b, 
Afaankhet Efohui 196b. Gra on 1:10. 

31. Cf. Isaiah 1ft l, etc. 

32. Zahar 1:15a. Zahar HaRakia, Mikdash Melekk, ad lac., Shefa 
Tal 6 (Hanau, 1612), p. 45b IT., Emek HaMelekh (Amsterdam, 
1653), 6b, Likutey Torah |R, Shneur Zalman of Liadiju 
BeChukotai a 46b, Also see Raziai I la (27), R, Chananel on 
Chagi&ah 13a. Cf. Ukutey Aloha ran 64 + Also see chapter 2, note 
4S + 

33. See Bahir 2, Ramban on Genesis 1:2. 

34. Yitzchak Sag? Nahor, Yitzchak DeMin Acco (301/27), Ramban 
A, a 1 T R. Yehudah Chayit. Mirschat Yehudah . on Maarekhet 
Efohui. 196b. 

35. Peliyah 2c 

36. Sanhedrin 65b. See Introduction, note 97, 

37. See note 23. 

38. Baal Sherri Tov, quoted by R. Yesachar Ber of Zlotchov, 
Meraser Tzedek, Bereshit (Dubno, 1798): quoted in Sefer Baal 
Stum Toy Re'eh 8. 

39. See Bereshit Rabhah 12:9, Midrash ichtiim: I 14:3, Ramban on 
Genesis 43:20, Ibsetbt Yont Jbf on Suecah 4:5, HaGra, Ybreh 
Deah 276:19, Also see Rashi on Genesis 2:4, Psalms 68:5, Mid¬ 
rash Tehiitim 1 E 3:3, Eritvin 18b, Ibn Ezra on Exodus ] 5:2. Rashi 
on Exodus 17:16, Radak on Isaiah 26:4, Minchat Shai on 
Psalms 94:7, 118:5, Kuzari 4:3 (9a), March Nevttchim i:63. 

40. Eliezer of Wormes A, Ramban B, ad foe., from Sidra Rabba 
DeBereshif 1, in Batey Midrashoi 1:19, 

41. Zahar 2;104b* 2:169b, 2:257b f 3:35a, Tikuney Zahar 2a; 
Shaarey Orah (Warsaw, 1883). pp. 33a. 35b. 

42. Ramban A, ad loc. 

43. Berakhol 31b, Cf. I Samuel 1:3. 

44. See Shaarey Orah 2. Also see Pehyah 2d. that this is Chakhmah 
and Binah, Actually. however, it is through the union of the two, 
which is through Ycsod. 

45. Bahir 171, Pardes Rmumim 15. See Radbaz. Magcn David, 
Dalei, 

46. Eiz Chaim, Shuar Arikh Anpin 9; Cf. Zahar 2;4b c 3:131b, For 
various other opinions, see Rashi. [bn Ezra. Ramban, Baafey 
Tosejbt. ad foci, Tosefoy Rash HaShanah 17b T "Shalash , ,J Refer 
Chasidim 250. 


ighle-d material 



35 : 


SEFER YFTZIRAH 


47. Shaarey Gan Eden (Cracow, ] 831 | T 2b, 

48. Tosefot, Kiddushm 3b "DeMsar " Kuzari 4;3, Also sec Leviticus 
19:2. 21:8, Isaiah 6:3. commentaries ad locYaYikra Rahhah 
24:9, 

49. Kuzan 4:25 <43b T 46b. 47a), 

50. Otiot DeRabbi Yitzchak (Zalkiev, 1801), p. 3b, 4a. Cf. Ginai 
Egoi (Hanau, 1615), 34a. 

5L Tshuvot Rivdsh 157, Elemah Rabat at, Eyin Kol 1;2; Radbaz, 
Meizudot David 2, Showier Emuntm (HaKadmon) 2:64, 65, 
Kisev Melekh on Tikuney Zahar 22 (64b) (Lublin, 1927), 94b 
#50, 

52. See Etz Chaim . Shaar Mochin DeTzeiem 5 . 8 , Shuar Drushey 
HaTzelem 6, Shaar Kisey HaKavod 5; Nahar Shalom (in Etz 
Chaim , Tel Aviv, I960, VoL 3), p. iTOffl; Cm on 1:1 (3a). See 
chapter 2, note 45. 

53. Zahar 1:3la. 

54. Skiur Komah 15 (Warsaw. 1883), 28a. According to this, one 
could interpret Bettmah, “without anything/ to indicate that 
the vowels are written without letters. Just like the Sefer 
Yetzirah later writes, “Three Mothers. AMSh," and “Seven 
Doubles. BCD K.PRT7 here it writes, "Ten Sell rot, without 
anything." In the lime of the Sefer Yetzirah, there was no way 
of writing the vowels (see below, chapter 2:5). Regarding the 
assignment of the vowels to the Sefirot. see Tikuney Zohar 70 
(126a), Parties Rimonim 19:4, 32:2, For other systems, see Ginai 
Egos 66a ff.> Shoshan Sodot {Koretz, 1784), 74b; Perush 
HaNikkud (Paris. Ms. 774), p. 38b if. 

55. Rashi, tbn Ezra, Ralbag. ad loc,, R_ Avraham ben Chiyah, 
Hegyon HaN^fesh (Leipzig, I860), 3a, Chayit 28a. 

56. Chulitt 89a, Radafc, Sherashim, ‘ELM/' Raztel 8b, Parties 
Rimonim 3:4, Ibn J a uadi, Sherashim, ‘BLM, actually quotes 
Sefer Yetziiah L8. Also see Appendix 1, note 5. 

57. Cf Saehya on Deuteronomy 33:27. 

58. Yitzchak DiMin Aeco, ad loc., 385/L 

59. ELiezer of Wormes B on 2:1, Raavad on 1:10, Ramban B on 
1:10, Abo see Abraham Abulafia, Mafreach Ha Ray yon (Vati¬ 
can, Ms, 291), p, 30a, Cf. Chakamoni 66c. 

60. Berakhot 55a, Raavad on 1:10. See Introduction, notes 34, 86. 

6L See Midrash Tehilhm 13 9:36. Cf. R, Schneur Zalman, Likutey 

Amorim, Shaar HaYichud VeHeEmunah 1 . 

62. Etz Chaim. Shaar HaKlipot 2; Likutey Amorim, Sefer Shel 
Benonim 3 . 

63. Shabbai 55a, Bereshit Rahhah 8l:2 t Yeruskalmi Sanhedrin 1:1, 
from Jeremiah JO: 10, See Kashi on Job 28:27, who quotes this 




VtJffJ 


353 


in the name of Sefer Yetzirah, One reason why these letters are 
called Mothers may be because in Hebrew, mother is Em, 
spelled Atef Mem, the first two of these three fundamental let¬ 
ters, Saadi a substitutes UrrtOI, see Appendix L note 14. 

64, See M inchat Shat, ad toe , Also see Berakhot 57a. BaMidbar 
Rabbah 10:4, Bahir [04 r Zohar 3:290b. Tiktmey Zohar 69 
(106b). 

65, Raavad on 1:10, 2:1, Pardes Rimonim 27:27; Yitzchak Sagi 
Nahor 237, Ylzchak DiMin Acco 383/5; Maarekhet Elohut S3b, 
For reason why they are not called “fathers,” see Or HaGanuz 
on Bahir 95. Shaar Gan Eden lOd, 

66, Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 13. 

67, Pardes Rimonim 1:L 

68, Sec Bahir 124, 3 38, 188, 193. See Exodus 9:33, 17:11, Leviticus 
9:22, 16:21. Numbers 27:23, Deuteronomy 34:9, l Kings 8:22. 
8:38, 2 Chronicles 6:12. 

69, Barceloni, p, 14 \ t Pardes Rimonim J;| r 

70, Cf Rashi on Genesis I 5:10, 

71, Sec Long Version 6:8. 

72, Abraham AbtdiTu, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 4b, Mafleach 
HaRayyon 2 5b. See note 9. 

73, See Sotah 7:6, Bahir 109, 123. Shaar HaKavanoi (Tel Aviv, 
1962), Vol. 2. p. 263. Cf Maarekhet Ebhut 147b. The tongue 
and palate are also male and female, see Ed Chaim , Shaar MaN 
UMaD 13. p. 259, Shaar Rashbi (Tel Aviv, 1961), p, 296, The 
five and five also allude to the five phonetic families and the 
five primary vowels, see Perush HaNikkud 39b, See below 2:3. 

74, Abraham Abulafia, Se/er HaCheshek (Jewish Theological Semi¬ 
nary. Ms. 1801). p. 9a. This is quoted in Shaarey Kedushah, Part 
Four (British Muesum, Ms. 749), p. 12a, 

75, Ramban on Exodus 30:19. It is for a very similar reason that 
the hands are washed before prayer, see Berakhot 60b, Tshuvot 
Rashba 191. 

76, See Derashot HaRan #8 (Jerusalem, 1974), p. 128; Avodat 
HaKodesh 4:25. Cf. Bereshit Rad hah 70:8, Also see Numbers 
7:89. 

77, Abarbanel on I Samuel 3:3, This may be the reason why God 
was said to "dwell among the Cherubs,” I Samuel 4:4 f 2 Samuel 
6:2. He is also said to u ride a Cherub,” Psalms 18:11, Cf, Tar- 
gum, ad toe. See Maarekhet Elohut 163b, 

78, Avodat HaKodesh 4:25. Cf. Yoma 9b, 

79, Tikuney Zohar Chaddsh \ J 2b, quoted in Pardes Rimonim 23:20 
"Keruvim ." See Yoma 54a. 

SO. Cf Genesis 17; 12, 


iqhled male rial 



SEF£ft YETZJRAH 


3M 

Si. Maharal, Tiferei Yisraet 2. Cf. Riimban, Torat H&Adam tin 
Kitvey RambarY Jerusalem, 19641, Vol. 2 h pp, 302, 303, 

82. The toes represent the Universe of fieri yah, Pardes Rimonim 
1:1. Bcnyah. however, is the level of Neshamab. 

S3, See Shavuot ESa. Yad, Issurey Hi yah 4:It, YoreH Peak IS5:4; 
Tikkuney Zahar 69 (1 I0a) t Sefer Chasidim 173- 

84. Shavuot 18b; Zohar 1:90b, 1:112a. I;l55a, 3:43a, 3:56a, 3:246a, 
Zahar Chad ash 11 a. 

85. See R. Yitzchak San tar, Sefat Emet (Berlin, 1787), p. 44b. Also 
see VaYikra Kabbah 31:4. Abraham AbulaOa also writes that 
the covenant of circumcision must precede that of the tongue, 
which is the Torah, see sources in note 72, 

86. Barcelona p, 141, Ramfoan B on 1:10. Pardes Rimonim 1:1, See 
below, 2:6, 

87. Ram ban A* Ytzcfaftk Sagi Nahor, ad foe., Maarkekhet Ehhut 
36a. 82b, Chayii 41 a, 47a, 113a (EVjr) f Pardes Rimonim 1:5. 

88. Pardes Rimonim 3:L 

89. See Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, Yitzchak DiAfin Aeco{ 387), Ramhan 
A. ad toe., Recanti on Exodus 31:3 (15c)„ Pardes Rimonim 1:6, 
Abraham Abulafla states that this is related to the leaching that 
the Markavah can only be taught to one who is "’wise, under¬ 
standing with his knowledge," Otzar Eden HaGanuz 7a, 

90. Choiem Thkhnit, p. SO, Hirsch on Psalms 7:10, Bet HaOtzar p, 
J86, Cf. Ram ban A, ad toe. 

91. Examples of this include Shaarey Orah ; Pardes Rimonim , Shaar 
Arkhey HaKinuyim; KehiUai Yaako v, One can also use the dif¬ 
ferent divine names associated with the Sefiroi, see below 6:6. 
One can also use the Telragrammaton with the vowels associ¬ 
ated with the Sefirot, see note 54, This is discussed at length in 
my Meditation and Kabbalah. 

92. See Choiem lakh my p. 104. Both words. Bachan and Chakar. 
occur in Jeremiah 17:10, 

93. Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 70, 

94. A similar expression h found in Giltin 89b, Regarding the 
meaning of the word Bor: . see Rashi, ad lac. "VefieEmidu. “ 

95. 1 Rings 8:13. Isaiah 4:5, Daniel 8:1 E. Cf Psalms 33:14. 

96. See Sodev Razw (Btlgorey, 1936), p. 32. 

97. Cf.Bahi 'r 24. 

98. Zohar 2:37a, Avodat HaKodah 3:42, Shiur Komah 21. Cf 
Afar eh Sevuchim 1:11, 

99. Ramban A, ad toe. (407/7). Sec chapter 2. note 76. 

100. This is based on Exodus 15:17, where the word Afakhon is read 
as Afekuvan, See Rashi, ad toe .< Yerushatmi. Berakhot 4:5, This 
leaches that the Temple on high parallels the Temple (Bet 




Notes 


355 

HaMikJash) below, The Temple is also called Afakhon, see note 
95, Afakhon is also one of the seven heavens, see chapter 4. note 
70, 

101, Radac, ad loc , Also see Nefesh HaChaim 1:13, in Hagah 
" U'LeFL 14 

102, See Mesechta Atzilut 5. Pardes Rimonim 16, 

103, The Universe of Yetzirah parallels the six Seftrot: Chesed, 
Gevurah. Tiferet, Netzach, Hod. Yesod, Afakhon is the sixth of 
the seven heavens, and hence, parallels YesocL 

104, Gra, ad foe. See Kchitaf Yaakov (Lvov, 1870), VoL 2, p. 22a, 
Also see Tikuney Zahar 15a T b. Also see note 109. 

105, This is obvious in the Saadia Version 2:1. 

106* Cf. Psalms 111:10, Bahir 49, 1G3* 142. 

107. Chagigah J4a, Sanhedrin 93b, Rashi on Exodus 30:3, 

10S. Shaar HaPemhm {Tel Aviv, 1962), p 5. Cf Shaarcy Or ah 
63b. 

109. Siddur HaAri: Siddur R Shabatai (Lvov, 1866), p. 67b; Siddur 
Kol Yaakov (Slavita, 1804), p, 156a, Siddur R Askar (Lvov, 
1788), p. 59a. See Shaar HaKavanot 2:208. 

110. Midrash TehiUim 31:6 (120a), 7S:19 <l7Sb). 

111. CT/T Chayit 41b, The Sefirot contain the essence of the Divine, 
see Pardes Rimonim 4:7* 

J12, These exercises are actually described by R. Eliezar of Wormes. 
Sodi Razia, p, 41* 

113. Ramban B. ad toe.. Yitzchak Sagi Hahor , line 75. 

114. Shaarey Qrah 37b, 38a. 95a, Yitzchak DLMin Acco, p. 3 SB, See 
note 109. 

13 5, Sanhedrin 111 a, 

13 6. Ibn Ezra on Genesis 37:5, Gra on Psalms 22:29, 

13 7. Cf Yerushafnu, Nedarim 9:1 (29a), Ramban on Deuteronomy 
22:6, Stfer HaChinuch 545, Shower Ernunim (HaKadmon) 2: [ 1 
no, 4, Nefesh HaChaim 2:4. Also see Job 22:3, Psalms 16:2, 
Radak, ad foe, 

13 8, Deuteronomy 26:15. Jeremiah 25:30, Zechanah 2:16. 

13 9. Radak ad foe,. Midrash Tehdhm 90:10. Barcelona p. 198. See 
Long Version 4:2, Also see Bereshit Rahbah 6&:10, Sh'mat 
Rahhah 45:6* Rashi on Exodus 33:2 L 

120- See Hirseh on Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalms 
90:1; Chotem TakhniE P- 177. Others say that the root of the 
word is Eym, meaning eye, since it is the place from which God 
looks down at the world. Ibn Ezra on Psalms 90: L 

121, Isaiah 65:11* Psalms 83:18* 92:8* 132:14. See Yitzchak Sagi 
Nahor, line 100. Also see Chotem Takhnit, p, 200. 

122. See Btreshit Rabhah 3:7, Moreh Nevuchim 2:30, Ikkanm 2:18. 



Hi) 


SEFEK YETZLRAH 


123, Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, Ramban, Yazchak DiMm Acco> ad /or., 
Otzar Eden HaGanuz 8a, Sec Hekhalot Rabatai 1:1. Cf Tosefot, 
A fegiliah 2b T “VeOd “ 

124, Bahir 88. Cf Choiem Takhnit, p. 111; R + Shiomo Pappenheim, 
Yeriot Shiomo, VoL 2 (Roedclheim, 1 S31 ) T p. 44a; Wertheimer* 
Shemot HaNirdafim BaTanack {New York. I953} t p, 336. Also 
sec Tatgum. Radak. on Isaiah 21:5. 

125, Hekhalot 1:1. See Sha a rev Or ah 37b. 96a. 

126, Some commentators distinguish between Bazak and the more 
common Barak, which is the usual word for lightning. Some say 
that Bazak means a spark, ChakamortL Radak on Ezekiel, and 
in Sherashim Others say that it is sheet lightning, Sarcdoni. p. 
132, See Rashi, Mahari Kara. Abarbane! on Ezekiel 1:14. In tal- 
mudical language, Bazak means To cast” or "‘throw,” see Bava 
Bat ra 73a, Sanhedrin SG&b, The Talmud interprets Bazak to 
mean the sparks shooting out of an oven, Chagigah \ 3b. 

127, Bereshti Kabbah 50: 1. According to the first interpretation, the 
word Bazak comes from the word ZikSu meaning a meteor. A 
Zikah is also a bubble. Cf Donash. The Kabbalists also say that 
there is a heaven called Bazak, see Emek HaMekkk Beriyah 1 2 
(173a). 

128, Shekkel HaKodesh (London. 1911 ) T p, 113, This ss very much 
like the Abubya mentioned in Mekhiha on Exodus 20:4* Cf 
Barceloni, p. 14, This is an image seen in water, see Nedarim 
9b T 7^/bi Nazir 4:7, Such images were worshipped, as we fmd 
in Avadah Zarah 47a, Yeiamdemi, Acharey Mot % quoted in. 
YalkutShimon i 62 on Judges 7:2, Arukh. Bavoa. Such reflections 
wene possibly used for idolatrous meditation. 

129, Cf Job 28:3, Psalms 139:22. 

130, Cf Hirsch on Genesis 41:1; Shemot HaNirdqfim SheBaTanach, 
p. 290; Chotem Yakima ^ p. 198, The Zohar states that Ketz 
denotes evil. Zohar 1:62b, En Chaim, Shaar HaYareach 5, 
When Acher became an apostate, he was said to have cut off 
(katzatz) his plantings, 

131, Shiomo Pappenheim, Yeriot Shiomo , VoL l (Difccrenfurih, 
1784), p. 4b. 

132 r R. Dov Baer, Magguj of Mezntch. Imrev Tzadikim (Zilimar, 
1901), p. 23d. 

133. In Shaare\ r Tzion it is vocalized as Dabro. 

134, Midrash Lekaeh Tov lb. See Toldot Yaakov Yosef YUro (Warsaw, 
I SSI), 54b, Tzaria (92 b); Tzafnai Paaneach (33b), Ket&r Shem 
Tov (Kehot, 1972), p, 121. See Abraham Abulafia. Get 
f-faShemot (Oxford, Ms. 1658)* 95a; Yosef Tzayach, Evren 
HaShafww 94b, 


C 





Notes 


JS7 


135. Raavad. They are also said to “ruii" with Metatmrt and to “retunT 
with Sanedlfon, Zohar 3:229b. Yitzehak DiMin Aeco. p, 392. 

136. Another possible instance is Ezekiel 43:27. sec Rashi, Radak, 
ad lac. 

137. Bereshit Kabbah 50:1. See Radak, Sherashim, RaTzaH. Cf 
March Nevuchtm 3:2. 

] 3S. Isaiah 21: L 29:6., Numbers 21:14, Targum I., ad foca Proverbs 
10:25 + Nahum 1:3, Psalms S3:16. See chapter 6, note 46. 

1 39. The Targum translates this as Ahl. which means destructive, see 
Relays'm 7; 7, Rambam, ad foe.; Proverbs 10:25, Cf Radak, 
Sherashim, "Sof " Shemol HaKirdafsm SheBaJanach. p. 243. 

140. Hirsch on Exodus 2:3. 

141. Cf Raziel 36a (123); Midrash Km en (in Onar Midrashim), p, 
257. 

142. See Gra, Malbim. on Nahum 3:3, Psalms 83:16, Hirsch on Exo¬ 
dus 2:3, The Midrash states that Sufah comes from the word 
Kasaf meaning “white.” since it makes people blanch in fear, 
Shtr HaShirim Kabbah on 3:4. 

143. See Abarband, ad toe. 

144. Chagigah 2:1. See introduction, note ^2. 

145. Also see Jeremiah 4:13, See chapter 6 + note 46. Also see Saadia. 
Bared oni. here. 

146. This opposes the philosophers who call God the “First Cause " 
See Monk Nevuchim 1:69. A cause-effect relationship can only 
exist within the framework of lime, and God is above time. 

147. See Maarekhet Elohut 36a. 

148. Cf Yitzchak DiMin Acco, p 388, 

149. To prove that they all meet at a single point, we can imagine 
the three-dimensional continuum as the surface of a four- 
dimensional hypersphere. When the hypersphere becomes infi¬ 
nitely large, the continuum becomes flat. Still, all outgoing lines, 
making “great: circles” on the hypersphere, meet on its opposite 
side. Incidentally, this has nothing to do with the curved space 
of general rdauvity, since the entire discussion here assumes an 
idealized flat space. 

150. See March Nevuchtm, introduction to pan 2, No. 16; A mud 
HaAwdah, Vskuach Shoel U'Meshiv, No, 99. 

UL Cf. Shabbai S9a T Bereshit Kabbah 48:1 1* 

152. R. Moshc Luzzalto, Tiichey Chakhmah YaDaat No. 3; Shtfa Tal 
3: l (48a). 

153. Tot dot Yaakov 1 mef VaYereh (I 7 a), 

154, Zohar 1:4a. 

155, Bereshit Rabbah 50:2, Targum, Rashi. on Genesis 18:2, Zohar 
1:127a. 



SEFER 'i ETZIRAH 


359 

156. Pardes Rimonim 6:6. Sec note 150. 

J 57, Amud HaAiodah (Chemovite, 1863), p. 83c. 

158. Sefer Chasidim 530, Sodey Razm. pp, 9,10. Cf Zahar ] :101b. 

) 59. Sec Yafeh Ska ah on Etz Chaim, Shaar Man U’SfaD 4. p, 192. 

160. Ne/esh HaChaim 1:10. 

161. See ShwrKomah 23. 

162. The Mezritcher Maggid uses a similar idea with regard to Israel, 
see Maggid Devarai' LeYaakov (Jerusalem, 1971), No. l t 123. 

163. Zahar 1:50b, Botril on 2:3, Cf. Emunoi VeDeyol 6:4, Also see 
Maarhekhet Elohut 36b. 

164. Sec Gra, ad toe. See Shekkel HaKadesh, pp 123-124, The Zahar, 
loc. cit also indicates that one should contemplate the flame, 

165. Gra, ad loc, This is the Chashmal seen by Ezekiel. 

166. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 10a, 

167. Shaarey Qrah 68b. This is the level of Binah consciousness. 

168. Tikuney Zahar 17a, 

169. March Memchtm 1:58, Kazan 2:2 r Fkkarim 2:22. 

170. Thus, music was often used to attain a meditative state, sec Yad. 
Yesodey HaTorah 7:4, based on I Samuel 10:5, 2 Kings 3:15, 
However, the Kabbalists write, that the music would be stopped 
once they reached the desired state. See Shaarey Kedmhah. Pan 
Four, p. 15b. 

171* See note 27. 

172. See Abraham Abuiafia. Stfnr HaTzeruf{?am. Ms. 774), p. lb. 
Also see Razed 14b M0), Get HaShemoi 95b, Evven HaShoham 
119b Cf Ram ban A, Yitzchak DiMinAcco, p. 392, Otzar Eden 
HaGanuz l la. Zahar 3:288b. 

173. CHagigah 14b, See Ofzar Chaim pp, 72b, 138a, 200a* 

174. This, apparently, was the experience of R, Chaim Vital, see 
Shaar HaGilgulim (Tel Aviv, 1963), pp, 140* 158, 

175. At the end of a meditation. Abulafia thus advises the initiate to 
“eat something, drink something, smell a pleasant fragrance, 
and let your spirit once again return to its sheath^ Chayay 
Glam HaBah {Jewish Theological Seminary, Ms. 2158), p> 18b, 
in A, Id Iinek. Philosophic und Kabbalah {Leipzig, 1854), p* 
45, 

176. Cf Zahar 1:65a. 

177. R, Yehudah AJBotini, Sutam HaAiiyoh 10 (Jerusalem* Ms, 8 a 
334), quoted in G, Schobm. Kitvey Yad BaKabbalah, p. 228. 

178. March Newuehim 3:49. 

179. Pardes Rimonim 3:5. However, others say that this is 
C’hafchmah, Cf Chayit 177b. Also see Razid 10a (23), Sodt 
Razta p, 1, Ma ft each HaRayyon 31b, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 11b, 
14b. Kazan 4:25 (57b, 58 b) says that this is pure spirit. 


Copyrighted material 




jVof£S 


359 

ISO. See Recaruii ad toe . Also see Numbers 24;2, 1 Samuel 10:10, 
11 6, Cf 1:2, 

181, See R, Eliczer of Wormes (3b), Gra, dif for. Also 

see Raziel 10a (23), 22a <73). Compare ibis to Etz Chaim ,, Shaar 
TaNTA 5 t from Psalm 23:3!, Nefesh Ha Chaim 1:15* 

182, It is thus taught that Yesod of Arikh Anpin {Keter) extends into 
Yesod of Zer Anpin. which is the true Yesod, Mam Shaarim 
5:1:16. Also see Etz Chaim, Shaar Derushey AB 1:4 I (29®b), Cf 
Peiiyah 2d, 

183, See Gra, ad loc ; CP Bahir 141, Also sec Sefer HaRazim (Ed. M. 
Myrgulius, Jerusalem. 1967), p, 108, line 23-24, quoted in 
Temirin. p, 72. Also in Shoshan Yesod Ohm (Sasoort, Ms. 290) + 
pp. 61*71, 

184, Tshurot Rashba 5:51, Cf. Bahir 4. 

185, Rosh HaShanah 32a. See note 5, 

186, Ibid See R. Dov Baer. Maggid of Mczritch. Or Torah (Kehot, 
New York, 1972), p. 2a. 

1®7. Also see Raavad on 2:3, Razid [Ob (25), Sulah HaAtiyah (Jeru¬ 
salem. Ms. 8* 1302), pp, 11b, 12a. quoted by G. Scholcm in 
Kiryat Sefer 22:166. 

3 88. Rashi on Exodus 31:3 states that Knowledge (Dart) is Reach 
HaKodesh. Kabbalistically, Daat h the confluence between 
Chakhmab and Bmah Although Ruach HaKodesh is derived 
from Keter. it is manifest in Daat. See Etz Ckaim r Shaar 
Dr us hey ABYA |, 

189. See Yitzehak Stanov, Sefat Emet, p. 44b. Some interpret the 
first Ruach to be spirit, and the second to be air. see Kazan 
4:25 (58a), Raziel 1 lb (29), 12b (32), Also sec Chayit 1%, 53a„ 
Others say that they are Chakhmah and Binah. see 
commentaries. 

190. Etz Chaim, Shaar HaAkudim 8, 5, 

191. See Etz Chaim, Shaar Auk 4, Shaar Seder ABYA 1 (356). 

192. See Ari on Sefer Yetztrah. Also see Likutey Amarim. Shaar 
Ha Yichild VeHeEmunah 4 (79b). 

193. See Donashu 

194. Tikuncy Zohar 17a. 

195. Panics Rlmonim 10:5, Kataeh Pnchey Chakhmah \ ] r 

196. It also means writing, see Job 19:24, Also sec Pardes 16:9, 27:27, 
Yitzehak Sagi Nahor, line 138. 

197. We thus Ond, “God's" voice carves (choizev) flames of fire" 
(Psalms 29:7), There is an indication that this word might indi¬ 
cate a synesthetic process. Cf. Mekhilta on Exodus 20:15, See 
below, 2:6. 

198. Gra. ad foe. 


iqhlf 


iri 



360 SEFER YETZIRAH 

199. Etz Chatm, Shaar TaNTA 5 (p. 70). Cf Bahir 119, Zahar 1:32b, 
Otzar HaKavod (Sttmir, 1926), p. 37a, Recanii 3b. A similar 
idea is found in Ecclesiasticus 24:25-31. Also see Raziel 12b 
(33), 14a (39), Maarekhet Efohiu 12 (167b), Chayit L9b, 165b* 
Yhduk Sagi Nahor, line 142, 

200. Sh mot Rahhah 15:22. 

201. Raavad, ad lac. 

202. See comment on 1:12, 

203. Thanit 7a, Cf. Shir HaShitim Rahhah 1:19, 

204. Hence, a person cannot prophecy at will, see Yad, Yoodey 
HaTorah 7:4, 5. 

205. Kazan 4:25 (5Kb). Also sec Hegyon HaNcfesh 3 b. Cf. Here shit 
Kabbah 4:1, 5:2, Sh'mot Rahhah 15:22. Midrash TehiHim 104:7, 
from Psalms 104:3; Yemshatmi. Chagigak 2:1 (Kb), Mekhtltd on 
Exodus 15:1 L 

206. Bahir 2. Ramban on Genesis 1:2, Hegyon HaNefeah 2b t 3a; 
Ra/iel 12a (32), Chayil 55b, Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 5 (p. 70). 
This is intermediate between actuality and existence, see 
Rauvitd, antroduction to Sefer Yetzimh 2a. 

207. Thus, in the Tz s ni xz urn -const ritt ion, the center dot, which is 
Malkhui, came into existence before the other Sefirot, see Etz 
Chaim , Drush EgoRrn VeYashar 2. 

208. Ramban, ad loc. Also see Ra&hi, ad toe, Cf Chayit 19b. Fardes 
Rtmonim 3:5. 

209. Gtknyil 19b, 20a. Emek HaMelekh 6b, c; Etz Chaim, toe cit.: 
Also see Raavad of 2:4, Raziel 12b (32), J4a (39). 

210. Fardes Rimonim 3:5. 

21L Fir key Ralbi Eiiezer 3, Sh mot Rahhah 13:1, Cf Yoma 54b„ 
Berahit Rahhah t;6, Raziel Ha. 

212. Cf. Rashi, Malbun, ad loc., Shabbai 55b, Bereshit Rahhah 98:4, 
See my Waters of Eden, (NCSY : New York, 1976), p, 62, See 
Pirkey Rabbi Eiiezer, Etz Chaim , loc. cit. 

213. Bahir 165. 

214, Etz Chaim, loc. cit 

215, Raavad, Otzar HaShem, ad loc., but also see Bavti Kama 4b. 

216. Cf Saadi a Gaon, p, 125, 

217, Ratiak. Lbn Ezra, ad loc. 

2 IS. Raziel lib (29); Tachkamortu Raavad, Otzar HaSHem ad toe., 
Barcdom, p, 197. See Beiza 4:6 (33a), Rashi, ad loc,, ’ Min 
HaMayimf Yad, 1 bm Tov4:\, Bahir IKK. 

219. Cf BaMidbar Rahhah 14:12. 

220, Sh'mot Rahhah 15:22, See Zahar l;32b, 1:103b. Rada] on 
Pirkey Rabin Eiiezer 4:3. 


■opy rig hied material 



Nates 


m 

221. Chagigah 14b, Raslu, ad loc ,* Otzar Chaim 2a* See Hekhalot 
Rabatai 26:2, that the experience is- like being washed by thou¬ 
sands of waves of water. Also sec Pardes Rimomm 23: 13 (27b), 
from Tikuney Zahar 40 ( 80b), 

222. See Rashs on Genesis ]:I« A imm Ehmeiekh. Chayay Sarah 
(Lvov, 1888), p, Mb. 

223. A Mian 4:25 (58a). 

224. Sec Derckh HaShem 1:5, 4:6:13. 

225. See Malbim on Ezekiel 1:1* 

226. See Pardes Rimonim 23:22 "SarafC Keiultm Yaakov "Saraf (23a). 

227. Sodi Razta , p. 8* Raavad, Introduction to Sefer Yetzirah 4c, 
Kmart 4:3 (22b). Ramban on Genesis 18:2, Exodus 3:2, Num¬ 
bers 22:31. 

228. Razienia (31). 

229. Bahir 30* 

230. See Raavad, Ramban B, on 3:2; Eli Chaim , Shaar T&NJA 7, 

23 L. Shaar HaKavanot, Kavanot Naamtim (Td Aviv, 1962), p. 310; Sid¬ 
dur HaAri, Siddur R Shahaiak p. 100a, Siddur R ,4sher, p, 38L 

232. Cf. Zahar 3:243b, 

233. The Ten Scfiroc were originally derived from five, and this is 
why they were later divided into five Fartzuflm. See Etz Chaim, 
Shaar HaMciakhim 5, p. 151. 

234. Sec Otzar Eden UaGcmuz 20a. Maft each Ha Ray von 31b. 

235. See Etz Chaim , Shaar Akudim 5. Shaar Peru mint VeChiizomut 
10, 12. Regarding the five levels, see Bereshii Rahbah 14:9, 
Devan m Rahbah 2:9, Shaar Ha Gilguhm I. 

236. It is thus on the level of Atzilut, which is called "nothingness ” 
Therefore* Ben yah r the world below it, is called ^something 
from nothingness." 1 

237. StUam HiLAliyah 7 (8a) r Cf Sefer HaCheshek 22a. Otzar Eden 
HaGarmz p. 16, See below, 2:6. 

238. See Raavad, Moshe Botril. ad Ice. 

239. See Oxford, Ms. 1531, p. 45a (bottom), quoted in G, Scholem, 
Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism* p, 361, note 42. .Also see note 43* 

240. See note 220, 

241. See Abraham Abuiafia. Chayay Glam HaBah 18a* quoted in 
Phiiosophie and Kabbalah, p, 45, where such a method is 
described in detail. This is also related to the method of the 
Hakhaht Rabatau Chapters \ 7-26. Also see Sods Razia, p. 32* 
Cf Chapter 6, note 37, 

242. This technique is described in Shaarey Kedmhah, Part Four, p. 
16a. See chapter 6, note 37, 

243. Otzar Chaim 107a. b. 



3*2 


SEFER YETZIRAH 


Chapter Two 


1. Yitzchak Sagi Nahor f line 243. 

2. Pesiktu 167a. Cf Rash HaSkanah 17a. See Avol 2:8. 

3. Arot 1:6. See Likutey Moharan 282. 

4. See Chakamom. Barcelona on 3:1- See Etz Chaim, Shaar 
Derushey HaTzelem 2. p. 13b. 

5. Raavad. ad ioc. 

6. Yitzchak Sagi Nidtor. line 262, Otzar tlaKavod 39b. Regarding 
"pillars of Chashmalset RazieS 14b (40), and compare this to 
below, 2:6. 

7. Chagigah 13b (top). See Or HaStkM 4:2 (48b). 

8. Otzar Edtn HaGanuz S4a. 

9. See Sefer Baal Shew Tow Bmshit 131-135. 

10. Zahar 2:54a. See note 54. 

11. See Rashi, Yalkut Reuveni, on Exodus 2:14, Sh mot Rabbah 
1:30. See Shaar HaPesukim, Likutey Torah HaAri, ad toe. 

12. Shoshan Sodot 72b. Also see Otzar Eden HaGanuz 6b, The 
Zohar says that these represent the 25 letters in the verse. M Hear 
G Israel,.(Deuteronomy 6:4), Zahar 2:12b, 2:117a, 2:139b, 
Tikuney Zohar 6 (22a). 

13. See note 63, 

14. See Or HaSekhel 7:3 (94), Get HaShemot 90a, Chayit 3 9b. See 
below, 4:3. 

15. See Saadis, introduction to Sefer Yet zt rah, Eighth Theory , p, 30. 
Also see Introduction, note 34. 

16. See chapter I , notes 237, 242. 

17. Chakak means to write, see chapter l r note 31. See Otzar Eden 
HaGan uz pp, 160-162, 

IS, Beginning of Sulah HaAfiyah. Cf Or HaSekhel 7:1 (90a), 

19. Erven HaShoham 12a, Sheiht Vienna. Ms, 260) T p, 2b. 
Regarding the ciphers, see Pardes Rimanim 2 1:13, 30:5. 

20. Pardes Rimonim 27:27, Etz Chaim, Shaar Drushey HaTzeiem 
2 t p. 12, Shaar Rashbi 297, Zohar 2:123a supports the assump¬ 
tion that the firs I two are the gutturals and palatals. 

2 1. See Saadia, Efrezer of Worm« T ad ioc. r Tikuney Zohar 132a, 
Zohar 3:22&a, etc. Donash has a third ordering, where the last 
two are interchanged, see note 36, 

22. Etz Chaim ,, loc. at Cf Shaar Ruach HaKodesh p. 113. 

23. Shaar ey Zohar on Sofrim 9:1. 

24. Shahbat 104a, Megdlah 2b, Bercshit Rahbah 1:15, BaMidbar 
Rabbah IS: 17, Tanchuma, Korach 12, Ptrkey Rabbt FJtezer 48 


Copyrighted material 



Nottt 


363 


Cf Chav it 19a. The fact that these letters are not mentioned in 
5<#r Yetzirah may be indicative of its extreme antiquity. 

25. Elz Chaim. Shear Rashbi, foe tit. See Barcelona p. 140, Gra on 
1:3 No* 2* 

26, Ttibnfy Zahar, Introduction (4b>, 70 (l 35b). 

27* Paries Rimonim 21:1. 

28, Tubf/wy Zahar 14a, R. El sc/ar of Wormes 4b, Elz Chaim, Shaar 
TaNTA 3, p. 66, Ginat Egos 24c, 

29, Also see chapter t r note 54, 

30, Pardes Rimonim 27:27. 

3L Hence, "‘a woman's voice is a 'sexual organ,'" Rerakhot 24a, 
Zohar 3:142a. 

32. Parties Rimonim * /tic, c/f,, £jT 2 CAafrn, /Am^Aey 

HaTzefern I, S/tatir RarA/u p. 297* 

33. Kisey Melekh on Tikimcy Zohar 4b (1 Ia|. According to the 
TUcuney Zahar 14a, the order of Pituchey Chotem parallels the 
five phonetic families in alphabetical order* 

34. Another reason for this order is because they add up to Mefekh. 
Mafakh, Yimfokha See Shoot HaKavanot, p. 109a. 

35. Elz Chaim , Shaar Ha Yareach 5(1. 1 S3), Parties Rimonim 13:7. 
Also see Yonat Elim, quoted in Kehiirn Yaakow VoL 2, p. 3a. 

36. Tikuney Zahar 3 4a. Significantly, the families then come out 
like the reverse of Donash's order. See note 2L 

37. Raavad. ad foe. See Emek Ha Meiekh 6b 

38. Otzar Chaim 107a, 

39. Saadi a B. ad fot\ 

40. Acronym of R. Yitzchak be Asher, died 1132. Scholem. in his 
Kabbalah and its Symbolism* p. 186, claims that this acrostic 
stands for R. Yishmael ben Elisha. In British Museum, Ms. 754, 
the abbreviation is R* Tz., which Scholem surmises may be a 
certain R. Tzudok. 

41. Saadi a B. /or, at. Emek HaMeiekh 9c similarly writes that if one 
says them backward he will be swallowed up by the earth. 

42. Chakamam, Parties Rimonim 30:5* R. Eticzar of Wormes, pp. 
5a. 17bff, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 39a T Otzar Neehamad on 
Kuzari 4:25 ( 61b), Evven HaShoham 154b. Sherit Yosef 9*, 
Shmhan Yesod Ohm No. 454 T p, 207, 

43. Raavad, ad foe, AbuJafla presents this system in the name of R, 
Yitzchafc Bardashi, see Otzar Eden HaGanuz 16b. 37a; Appen¬ 
dix 5, notes 10, 39. Also in Kol Yehudah on Kazan 4:25 (61a). 
The fact that each array contains 231 pairs, which is 21 times 
22, with the letters AL in the middle is alluded to in the verse, 
“Only in You, O God (Ach Baeh Elf (Isaiah 45:14), see Zohar 
1:33b, commentaries ad loc. t Gra on 6:4. 




364 


SEFER YETZIR4H 


44. Emek HaMetekh 4a ff {see Appendix Ill)* VaYakhd Moshe 
(Zolkiev* 1741)* p. 7a, Shaar Gan Eden 12a* Pri Ytizchak (in 
Sefer Yetzirah, Warsaw, 1884), VoL 2* page 27a* b. The original 
source apparently is Emek HaMdekh, and he virtually para¬ 
phrases R. Eliezer of Wormes in his formula for creating a 
Golem* see note 6L 

45. See chapter L r note 52* Shaar Gan Eden 11c. 

46. Ginat Egoz 5 5b. Otzar Chaim [ 08a 5 Perns ft HaNikkud 48b. 49a* 
front HaShoham 154a, 177b, Tzaror HaChaim (Jews College, 
London* Ms. 318)* p, 10a, Gan Yah 25b. See Chayay Olam 
f faff ah 22b. 

47. Bereshn Rahbah t:4. Gan Yah, be. cit. 

48. Emek HaMekkh 6a. Ltmudey Atzitut (Munkatch, 1897)* 3a* 
22a; Mikdash Melekh on Zohar 1:16b (Zolkiev, 1794)* p, 31b, 
R. Shneur Zalman of Luidi, Likutey Torah. Hosafot on VaYikrn 
53b. See chapter I, note 32. 

49. Emek Ha Melekh 6b, Limudey Atzihit 3a. The sum of the four 
names Ab (72) Sag (63) Mah {45) and Ben (52) also equals 232. 
It may be that the arrays of the later Kabbalists relate to the 
Sefirot themselves, while those of the earlier Kabbalists relate 
to the letters. This would resolve the difference between the two 
systems. 

50. Donash* Barcelom, p. 208. 

51* See Saadi a, Barcelona, ad toe. These mention the reading* but 
reject it, 

52. R, Eliezar of Wormes ad be., p. 5a. He also cites the previous 
method in the name of his father, R. Yehudah ben Kdviumos, 

53. Raavad on 2:5* from ifoma 76a, See Bet Levi, Emek Hatacha, 
ad ioc.. quoted in MUzpah Euan, who give other reasons for this 
number. An elaborate complex calculation is also presented in 
Aieret Rash on Eyin KasAov. These commentaries obviously 
were not aware of what the Raavad writes here. 

54. Chayay Qtam Haffah 4b, quoted in Scholem* Kttvey Yad 

BaKabbitiah, p* 25, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 162b (bottom), 
Shaarey Tzedek (Jerusalem, Ms. 8" I4S), pp* 66b, 67#* quoted 
in A7n*ti Sefer 1:135; Sutam HaAUyah 10 (Jerusalem, Ms. S* 
334), p, 98a. quoted in Kitvey Yad Bakabbiah, p. 228. Cf. Psalms 
23:5, 45:8* 109:18, 133:2. It may be more than coincidence that 
the first two letters of the Hebrew word for oil, * are 

Shin and Mem T see above, note ID, 

55. iktier Eden HaGcwuz, p. 34a, Sefer HaTzemf 10a* Ginai Egoz 45b 
(with errors). This is also the system presented by R. Moshe Boml, 
who apparently attributes it to Hai Gaon. In Otzer Eden HaGanuz, 
Abulafia also apparently attributes it to an earlier source, 


Copy righted material 



Notts 


m 


56. Oizer Eden HaGanuz 38a, On pp, 75b. 76a. he apparently 
speaks of the 70S, 432 combinations of l ] letters. 

57. Also see Psalms 37:4, Job 22:26, 27:JO. For other sources, see 
Yotzer Or. p. 56. 

58. R. Barukli Targomi, Maftechoi HaKahalah p. 230. Sefer 
HaTzeruf p. la + Evven HaShoham, p. 177b. Sheini Yosef, p. 
168a, Tzaror HaChaim. p, 10a. 

59. See Barcelona p, 104, 

60. Commentary on Sefer Yemrah 4 b, 15b. Also see Raavad. ad 
loc., Shoshan Yesod Olam. pp. 100, 199, 203. Cf. Ibn Ezra on 
Isaiah 26:4. Psalms 68:5, 

61. R. Eliezar of Wormes. ad foe , 15b, Emek HaMetekh 9c. The lat¬ 
ter is translated into Latin in Knorr von Rosen rot h T Kabbala 
denudata II (actually III): Liber Sohar restitutus (Sulzbach. 
IG84) t pp. 220-L 

62. See Introduction, notes 80-82. Also see Sheelot HaZaken 97 
(Oxford. Ms, Neubauer 2396), p. 53a. quoted by Seholem in bis 
Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 188, note t. There also appears 
to be a similarity between this and the PartzuFim mentioned in 
the Zoharic literature and in the writings of the Ari, a relation¬ 
ship which should be more thoroughly explored. 

63. Or HaSekhei 8:3(108b (T) quoted in Parties Rimonim 21:1. Also 
quoted in Snlam HaAliyah 9 (95a ft), in Kiryat Sefer 22:167 
The Ramak writes regarding Abulafia's leachingi “This is either 
a direct tradition, given over from mouth to mouth, or else it 
was revealed by a Maggid,^ 

64. In Parties Rimonim 2 1:2 there is specific mention regarding 
using other letters with a similar system, 

65. See Raavad. ad loc , 

66. Sanhedrin 38a, Tosefta 8 (end). Yerushalmi 4:9 (23b). 

67. Chagigah 12b. Zohar l:S2a, 1:186a. 1:231a, 

68. Ibn Ezra, ad loc. r Chovoi HaLevavot, end of Shuar HaBechinah 

4, 

69. Raavad, ad loc. 

70. Donash, p. 68. 

71. Parties Rimonim 9:3, 

72. Bahir 2, Rashi on Genesis 1:2. We thus see that Ben Zoraah sat 
confounded ( lahah). Bereshii Rabhah 2:4 r See Appendix I, 
notes 4-6. 

73. Bachya 3c, Parties Rimonim 3:5, 23:22 + Elz Chaim, Shaar MqN 
U'MaD 10 (248b), Shane Maamarey Chazcd 15b. 

74. Zohar 3:27a. Cf Bahir 135. Also see Noizar Chesed on Avot 5:7, 

75. Raavad on 1:1 (beginning). 

76. Imrey Tzadiktm (Zitiiiur, 1901), p. 19c, Sec Chayay Olam 



366 


St FEK YETZJRAH 


HaB&h 21b* quoted in Kitvcy Yad BaKabhalah, p, 28. Also see 
Sic hoi Ha Ran 40, 

77. We find a similar concept in the Zahar, that only Moses could 
assemble the Tabernacle, Zahar 2:228b. Likutey Moharan 2:6, 
This is also meant in meditative sense. 

78. Emek HaMelekh 9c, in his description of how a Golem is 
made. 


Chapter Three 


1, This is the last of Rabbi Ishmad's thirteen Middot, see begin¬ 
ning of Si fra. These Thirteen Mi dot are also in the 
prayerbook, 

2, 26a, It is significant that in the opening statement in 
the Bahir {#1), Rabbi Nehunia ben HaKana also makes use of 
this dialectic. 

3, Etz Chaim. Shaar Pirkey r HaTzetvm 5, p. 336a. 

4, See above, 1:2. Also see Likutey Shas (Ari), p. 27a; Els Chaim, 
Shaar TaNT4 6, p 72. 

5, The same term is used by Sen Si rah; *Tn whai is mystical 
(tmtphfa) for you, do not probe.* 1 Sec chapter 1, note 17. 

6, Kaavad. Ram ban B. ad toc rr Els Chaim, Shaar TaNTA 7. 

7, Kehilat AMSh " (i4a). Also see Pardes Rimomm 23:1, 

‘AMShC Cf Oizar Eden HaGamtz 54b. 70a. 

8, Noam Ehmciekh* Bo( 36). This may be the reason w hy the Sefer 
Yeizirah can be read in both the third person and in the impera* 
live. It is both a mystical account of creation, and an instruction 
manual how to parallel it. 

9, Cf Rashi. Ibn Ezra, on Exodus 10:21, 

tO. See Midrash Lekach Tow Sechvl Tow ad loc . Also sec Pardes 
Rimonim, loc , dr. 

It, Don ash, p. 20 + Ibn Ezra on Ecclesiastes 7;J9, Radak, Mikhlol 
(Lyk, lS42y, p. 72, Also see Dotiash, p, 45, 48. 

12. Saudia B, ad loc. This resembles a technique of the Indian 
faquirs, see Sefer HaChaim* Munich^ Ms, 207,^ lOdd la (writ- 



jVcKfJ 


36 ? 


ten in I268X Cambridge, Ms. Add. 643,1 p f. 9a, quoted in M. 
Gudemann, Geshfchie de s Erzitehungsn-esens und der Cuttur der 
Juden f (Vienna, 1880). p. 169: Mena she Gross berg, notes on 
Donash, p. S; G, $eholem> Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 183. 

13. See Introduction, note 99, 

14. Raavad. Ram ban* ad loc . Cf Afaarackhet Eiohut 175a, b. 

15. See Yilzchak Sagi Nahor* line 24?, 

16. Zohar 2:235b t Tikurtey 1 Zohar 70.140b. Cf. Likutey Maharan 3. 

3 7. See Raavad, introduction (2d), Chayit 9b, Pardes Rimonim 

2 . 1 . 

18. Kmart 4:25 (58a T b) thus states that the here is the ether 
ial atar). The word Avir also refers to space, as in Gittflt 8:3 t 
Ohatet 3:3, 

19. Pardes Rimomm 9:3- 

20. Raxtd 1 lb (30). 

21. Bahir 85. 

22. Tikurtey Zohar 4 (19b). Cf Raziel 1 lb (29, 30). 

23. Berakhot 6b, See Kehiial Yaakov. ‘Ravayah "(I la), 

24. Sh'moi Rabbah 51:7. Cf. Tanchutna, Pekudey 8. 

25. See my article, “On Immortality and the Soul," Intercom (Asso¬ 
ciation of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, New York, May, 1972). p. 
6, Also see To!dot Yaakov Yosef Bo (5Gd) Keter Shem Tov 108. 
Cf. Kedushal Levi on Avot 2:5, 

26. Deuteronomy 11:14. See Radak, Sherashim, 'YRHC Commen¬ 
taries on Proverbs 11:25, 

27. Gra ad loc., Elz Chaim, Shaar TaNJA 6, 7. 

28. Mafuach HaRayyon 26a, Cf Donash, pp. 60, 68. 

29. Raavad, Chakamoniad loc ., RuziW 11a (27), Cf. Avodat 
HaKodesh, Ykhud 18, Also see Kehilai Yaakov, “Geviyah ." 

30. Barcelooi, ad (oc„ Tziom (Lvov, 1882), p, 4c. 

31. Cf Zohar 3:223a, Pardes Rimonim 23:3, 'Gaviyah. ’ 

32. Ramban B, ad toe Pardes Rimonim. loc. cii. 

33. Ntgaim 6:7. 

34. Tosefoi Ybm Tov h ad loc.. Pri Yitzckak here. Pardes Rimonim. 
toe. cit. 

35. Ramban. Saadia. ad loc. 

36. TSkuney Zohar 17a, See chapter 1, note 195. 

37. Pri Yitzchak. ad be., Etz Chaim, Shrnr TaNTA 7. 

38. Stinachot 29b, Barcelona, p. 284. Note that this is stated by Rav 
Yehudah in the name of Rav, see introduction, note 82, The 
statement that the letters ShOTNeZ GaTz must have crowns, is 
also that of Rava, the maker of the Golem in the Talmud. 

39. Ohev Ylsraet. VeEiChanan (Zitimar, 1863), p. 80c. 

40. Etz Chaim, Shuar TaNTA L 



36S 


SHFf R, YETZtRAH 


4L C ha mat Gaon, Sefer Hahyun. in Lihttim AfeRav Hai Gaon 
f Warsaw, 1798), p. 37b T and in A. J cl I i nek, Ginzey Chakhmat 
Ha Kabbalah, p. 10; Kuzan 4:3 18b}; Abraham Abulafia. 
MafU'ach HaShemot (Jewish Theological Seminary, Ms, 1897), 
p. 58a, Or HaSekhel 4:2 (50b), Ibn Ezra on Exodus 3; 15, Or 
Eynayim (Lvov, 1886), 9b, In these sources, the Name is spelled 
in alphabetical order AHYY, It is possible that the original term 
here was Avyiih (AVYHk but when the Greek derived Avir 
became popular, the tatter term was inadvertantly substituted. 

42. R. Eliezar efWanno, p. 5d. 

43. Raziel l lb (28). Ct Ko! Yehhudah on Kuzari 4:25 (64b), 

44. Sotah 17a, Rashi, ad loc. "SJtefddnah," 

45. Ketubot 64b, AW Yehudah on Kuzari 4:25 (56b). 

46. See Razie! Hb (29, 30). 


Chapter Four 


L AJ$o mentioned in Zohar 3;255b, Ttkuruy Zohar 69 (104b), 70 
(128b). 

2 „ Radak Mikhtol 48a, 57a; Julio Fuemio, Concordanuae 

(Liepzig, 1840), p, 1363. R. Aaron slates that there are only 
seven cases, see note on MikkhL pp. 48a, 57a. Also see R, 
Moshe Kimchi. Mahalacft Shevilei HaDaat (Hamburg, 1785), 
No. 10, R. Aaron (ben Moshc) ben Asher, Dikdukey 
HaTaanUm, Resh 7 (Leipzig, 1838), R.A. Dablmesh, Afakney 
Avraham, Also see Ben Yehudah. Mihn, Resh "' Dagesh ," Olzar 
YIsrael, "Dagesh, “ Cf Radak, Afinchat Shay on 1 Samuel 1:6, 
etc. 

3. The SeptuagitVt thus used a double R in Sarah, see Gesenfus 
Grammar (London, no date), p. 43. 

4. Saadia.. pp. 79. 115, 116; Donash, p. 21; Barcelona p. 231. 
MikhloL p. 81b. 

5. Rosh HoShanah 31 a, b, Sanhedrin \ 2a, YeruskalmL Pesachim 
4:2 (26b): Yad Kiddush HaChodesh 5:3, Sanhedrin 14:12. 

6. Sasoon, Mi 507* See Ohel Dawid (Oxford, 1932). pp, 22-23. 
plate 2, Solheby Catalogue, “Thirty-Eight tmponant Hebrew 
and Samaritan Manuscripts from the collection of the late 
David Solomon Sasson* (Sotheby, Park Bernet & Co„ Zurich. 
November 5 t 1975), No. 6* plates on pp, 15 + 16. Also sec 
C hanoch Yalon, Pirkey Lashott (Jerusalem. 1971), pp. 176, 



200-201; Alejandro Die 2 Macho, ManuscritOS Hebreos y 
Arameos de la Biblia { Rome, !97l) P pp. IS*36. 

7, It is thus found in a copy of Machzor Roma , written in Pesaro, 
1480; Sasoon, Ms. 23. See Ohel Dawid, pp. 289*93, plate 38; 
Sotheby Catalogue No. 28. plates on pp, 92*95, Also used in 
Torah, Ketuvim and Hafiorot, Sasoon Ms. 487, written in 
Seville, 1468. described in Ohel Dawid, pp. 15-16; Sotheby Cat* 
alogue No, 7 T plates on p. 3 9. Also in Machzor Roma, written 
in Perugia, 1415, Sasoon, Ms. 405, described in Ohel Dawid* pp. 
276-289 t plate 36; Sotheby Catalogue No, 27, plate on p, 89, 
Also in Seder Tefilot. written in Spain, early 15th century, 
Sasoon. Ms. 59, described in Ohel Dawid, pp. 298*299; Sotheby 
Catalogue No, 25. pp. 84-85. This device was apparently also 
used by Saadia Gaon in his commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, p. 
28. 

8, Tikuney Zohar 5 (20b), Gra (22 a), Niizttizey Zohar (35). ad toe. 
Also see Tikuney Zohar 19 (39b), Beer Yitzchak (54), Nitzutzey 
Zohar (24), ad foe 

9, Tikuney Zohar 5 (20b), 19 (39b), 70 (128b), R. Yisrael of 
Kozmtz. Or Yisrael, ad foe. 

10, Gra. ad loc. 

11, Bahir 115, 

12, En Chaim, Shaar TaSTA 5, p. 70. This is said to be related to 
the ffevef DiGarmi in man. 

13, Tikuney Zohar 70 (128b), Kisey Mehkh ad loc. i 173b, No, 30). 
Cf. Kisey Melek 5Sa. .Also see Oizar Chain t 6a. 

14, Yitzchak Sagi Nahor, line 313, cites both opinions. See Peliyah 
39a, 

15, Cf Sichoi HaRan 77. 

16, Bam Baira 25b, Zohar 1:26b. Shukhan Antkh. Orach Chaim 
94:2 in Hagah, Seed is to the East, see Bahir 156. 

17, Gra, Pn Yitzchak , ad loc. 

E8, Tikuney Zohar 1S (32a). Also see Kuzari 4:25 (53a), 3:17 (24a), 
I bn Ezra on Ecclesiastes 11:2. 

19. See Bahir 70, Or HaGanuz on Bahir 154: Recanti Ic t Chayit 
179b. 

20. Bahir 117. 

21. Tiferet Yisrael 2, 

22. Radak on Zcchariah 4:2, Ginai Egoi 38c. 

23. See commentaries ad loc , Tbn Ezra on Zechariah 4:10* 

24. See Ibn Ezra, ad loc. 

25. Cf. Etz Chain i, Shaar 7iiAX4 7, 

26. Gra. ad loc , 

27. Bahir 10, 177, 



370 


SEFF.R. VFTZrRAH 


28. Shabbat 1 56a. 

29. See inset. 

30. These are described in detail in Ewftn HaShoham and Sheiril 
Yo$tf, Also see Israel Regard ic, How to A fake and Use Talismans 
(Wellingborough UK: Aquarian Press, 1972). 

31. Moscow. Ms. Guenzburg 775, unnumberd folios at beginning 
32a-33b tpp, 62-64 in my manuscript). These are attributed to 
Nohaniel Gaon, but no record of such a goon exists. Also see 
Toldoi Adam 158. where these seals are drawn and attributed to 
the Ramban. Thev are also found in Shoshan Yesod Oiam, pp. 
268, 322, 460. 

32. Chagigah 14a. See Morth Nevuchim 2:6 . 

33. See Bachya, AbarbaiteL on Deuteronomy 18:14, Derekh 

HaShem 2:7. Also see Sotah 12b, Tosefot t Shahhai 156a, 
Ikkanm 4:4, Many writers assume that Maimonities did not 
believe in astrology at all, based on what he writes in Yad x 
Avodat Kokhavim 11:16 and in March Nevuchtm 3:37. Else¬ 
where. however, he appears to admit that, at least to some 
degree, it can be used to predict the future, see Yad, Yesodey 
HaTtimh 10:3, Sefer HaMitzvor, Positive Commandment 31. 
Also see HaKoiev on Eytn Shahhai 156a; Bores hi l 

Rabhah 85:2, Rashi, Satah 36b. 

34. Bereshit Kabbah 10:6, Zohar 1:34a. 1:251a. 2:15a. 2:15b + 2* 
30b, 2:80b. 2* 171b. 3:86a. 

35. Akedat Yitzchak 2, Or HaSkem 4:3 (87a). See Shaar Rashbi on 
Perch Shi rah (p. 299). 

36. See note 32. Also see Bereshit Rabhah 78: L 

37. Bereshit Rabhah 1:3. 3:8, Sh mot Rabhah 15:22, Tanchuma, 
Chayay Sarah 3, Midrash Teh (dim 24. 86, 104, pi r key Rabbi 
EHezer 4. Cf Barcdoni, p, 187, 

38. Bahir 21. See Rada I on Pi rkey Rabbi £/ierpr 4:1, from Zohar 
1: 17b, 1:18b* 1:34a, l :46b. Also sec Rada! ibid. 4:11. Bachya on 
Genesis 28:12 reverses this, and stales that permanent angels 
were created on the second day. and temporary angels on the 
fifth. 

39. Shabhat 156a. 

40. Niddak 16b. 

4L See chapter l, note 155, 

42. Abarbanel on Deuteronomy 18:14. Also sec anonymous Pemsh 
on Yad . Yesodey HaTorah 2:5. 

43. Zohar 3:269b. 

44. Bereshit Rabhah 78:4, Yafah Toar ad foe .. Sh 'me! Rabhah 48:2. 
BaAfidbar Rabhah i 1:7* Tanchuma. Vd Yakhel 4, Sifri on Num¬ 
bers 6 : 26 , 



Notes 


m 


41 Baraim BeShmuef Ha Km an 9. Barcita DiMazaloi 15; Raziel 
17b (51), Sefer HaKanah (Cracow, 1S94). 86b. Yalkut Reuveni 
15a. 

46, Pirkey Rabbi Efiezer 6, 7; Rashi, Berakhot 59b ‘ Shahatai . r 
Shabbat 129b, Erwin 56a; Ch aka mom ?Qc t 72b, Bareiia 
DeShmuei HaKaian 3, Bareiia DiMazafot 7, Bared on i. p. 247. 

47, Yad. Yesodey HaTorah 3:1* Bareiia DeShmuef HaKatan 7 T 
Bareiia DiMazafot 12, Barcdoni, foe. cit 

48, See Ibn Ezra on Exodus 16:1, R, Shmuel Falkalish, Seder 
Avronot (Prague. 1797), introduction* quoted m Batey 
Midroshot 2:!0; Hadrey Kodesk (Difaemfurth, 1812), p. 5b, Cf. 
Chakamoni 70c, 72b, R. Eliezer of Wormes, 

49, A similar concept is found in Shabbat 129b. 

50, Sanhedrin 65b, Yad. Avodai Kokhavim 11:8. Tur Yoreh Deah 
179, 

51, Cf 7 shuirot Rashba 148, 409, Tshuvoi Rashba HaMeYuckaet 
LeRamban 283, Tshuvot Mohan Assad 2:24, Tshuvot Avney 
Tzcdek Yoreh Deah 44, Also see Yoreh Deah 179:2, Nimukey 
Yosef on Sanhedrin (Rif. 16b}, Sefer Chasidim 59, Zahar 1:169b, 
3:234a. 

52, Tikuney Zahar 70 (128b). Kisch Melekh, ad foe. (58a, No. 18)- 
Also see Gra here. For a different ordering ofSefivot and days* 
see Maarekhet Efohut 183a. 

53, See Pardes Rimonint 10, 32:2. 

54, Raavad. ad foe , See Shaar Ruach HaKodesh , pp, 86* 145. 

55, Shaar Ruach HaKodesh* p. 31. from Tikuney Zahar 70 (129b), 
Sitrey Torah, Zohar 1:108a. 

56, Gra. ad foe, Zohar } :4 1 b-45b* 2:245^2 59a* Pardes Rimonim 24. 

57, Rosh HaShanah 31a. Sanhedrin 97a. Andak Zarah 9a. This 
appears to be the opinion of Pirkey Rabbi Efiezer. see Radal, ad 
foe : 18:48, Also see Maarekhet Efohut 189a* Razicl 15a (43). 

58, Tamid 7:4, 

59, Sefer Temunah (Koreiz, 1784}. 31a. Maarekhet Efohut 190a, 
Sefer HaKanah 78b and other places Tshmot Rashba 423. Shiur 
Komah 83. Radbaz. 3 fa yen David, Gimel* Dalet; Metzudot 
David 298. R. Yosef Tzayach, Tzar or HaChaim, pp, 83b, 85b; 
Shaarey Gan Eden, Orach Tzadikim 1:1. Cf Baehya, Recant i, 
Tzioni, on Leviticus 25:8. Ramban on Genesis 2:3, Sefer 
HaChitmch 330* ibn Ezra on Genesis 1:5* 8:22. For a detailed 
discussion, see Brush Or HaChaim 3. at end of Tiferet Yisrael 
on Mishnayot Sezikin. This is also apparently supported by the 
Zohar, see Radal. foe. cit. This doctrine was opposed by the An. 
see Likuiey Torah (Ah) Kedashim* VeYakhel Moshe 3a. 

60, Otzar Chaim 86b Jf. 



VI 


SEFER YETZ1RAH 


6U Bereshit Rabhtih 8:2, Zohar 2:145 b, Cf Sanhedrin 97a, 

62. See Drush Or HaChatm. Ioc. at. 

63. Bereshit Rabhah 1:19, 12:10, Rashi on Genesis 1:14, 1:24, 2:4, 
Moreh Newtek: m 2:30, Ramban on Genesis 1:1, 1:8, 1:24; Shna 
Luchof HaBrii 1:190b in note, 

64. Bereshit Rabbah 1:12, Yad, Tshuvah 3:7, Raavad. ad ioc, Emunot 
VeDeyot 1:1, 5:8, Kuzari 1:67 (41a). 

65. Moreh Nevuchim 2:28, Cf Zohar 1:138b, A\-odah Zarah 54b, 
Berakhot 60a. 

66. Rashi. I bn Ezra. Sfomo. ad lac i, Rambam, Iggeret Techi)>at 
HiiMetim {Warsaw, 1927), p. 15. Regarding conservation of 
matter, see Emunot VeDeyot 7:1. 

67. Chagigah 13b, from Job 22:16, Psalms 105:8, Tosefoi ad toe . 
“Tordan," Maharsba, ad ioc . Also see Bereshit Rabbah 28:4, 
Koheht Rabbah 1:37, 4:4, Tanthuma, Lekh Lekha II, Yuro 9, 
Xftdrash Tehdlim 105:3, Tmna DeBei Ehahu Rabbah 13 <70a, 
72a), 26 < 103a) + Tanna DeBei Eiiahu Zuta 10 (15a), Sefer Chasi¬ 
dim 1137, 

68. Cf Berakhot 6 U, Bereshit Rabbah 14:3, 4, 10, Ramban on Gen¬ 
esis 1:20. 

69. Moreh 3:50, Kuzari 1:43 <32aI; Pesikta 105b, Rash HaShartah 
I Ob, Yemshaimi, Jteodah Zurab 1:2 (3a), Va Yikra Rabbah 29:1, 
Pirkey Rabbi Eiiezer 8 (18a); Ran, Rosh HaShanah (Rif 3a) 
‘BeRoshV Tosefot Yom Tow Rosh HaShanah 1:2 BeRosK ' 
Rokeach 200, Also see Rashi, Sanhedrin 97a ‘BeAlafim, ” Yad, 
Kiddmh HaChodesh 11:16; Avodah Zarah 8a. 

70. Chagigah 12b, Zohar 3:236a. 

71. Etz Chaim , Shaar Drushey AB YA 4, 1 2, Shuar Tziyur Oh mot 2, 

72. VaYikn t Rabbah 29: M, Pirkey Rabbi Eiiezer 18 (43a), 
BaMidbar Rabbah 3:8, Cf Raziei 15b {43), 36a (122). 

73. Otzar HaShem, ad locAvot Rabbi Nathan 37, 

74. lbn Ezra on Genesis 1:2. 

75. Bava Baira 25b. 

76. Bava Batra 74b, Cf Yermhaimi, Ketubot 12:3, Keiayim 9:3. 

77. Gin, Kifrer Or, ad Ioc. Cf Zohar Chadash 78b, 83K Zohar 1:52a. 

78. Bckhorot 55a. 

79. Gra. Cf RadaJ on Pirkey Rabbi Etiezer 18:47, See Midrash 
Tanayim 92b- 

80. Gra, ad ioc , In its entire history 1 Israel celebrated seventeen 
jubilees, see Arkkin 12b. Yad, Shcmuah VeYovei 10:3. 

81. See Bereshit Rabbah 12:6, 26:2, Ba Midbar Rabbah 13:12. 
Tanchuma, Bereshit 6. Ramban. Matt mar HaGeulah (in Kitvey 
Ramban}. p. 269, Rambam. commentary on Sanhedrin 10: l, 
jggem Techiyat HaMetim, p, 11. Cf Ketubot 39a. 


iopvricihk 






m 


82, Qfzar NaChaim 87a. 

83, Ibid. 87b. 

84, Ofzar Eden HaGanuz 75 b. 

85, Raavad* Pri Yiizchak, ad lac. 

86, Set Suiam HoAliyah. 

87, Ibid. 

88, Rosh HaShpnah 27a. regarding the fact that Shamor and Zachor 
were said “with one word," Cf Yad . Yesodey HaTomh 2; 10, 

89, Onar Eden HaGanuz 75 b. 

90, Bemkhot 32b. T he calculation there yields 1.16434 x I0 1 *, A 
variant reading yields 10 JI . See Raziel 18a (54). 

91, See notes 43, 44. 


Chapter Five 


1. Saadia, p. 58. thus says that the)- include the five senses. Sec 
Donash, p. 64. Chakamoni, however, interprets it as 
swallowing. 

2. There are various different orderings in the Bible, In Jacob's 
blessing to the tribes in Genesis 29. the order is Reuben, Sint' 
eon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Isaehar, Dan, Gad, Asher. Naftali. 
Joseph, Benjamin. In Genesis 46, the ordering is the same, but 
the sons of Leah’s handmaid precede those of Rachel's. In 
Numbers 1:5-15* the order is the same as in Exodus 1, except 
that Joseph precedes Benjamin, and the order of the sons of the 
handmaids is Dan, Asher. Gad. Naftali In Numbers 13:4-15, 
the order is Reuben. Simeon. Judah. I sac bar, Ephraim. Benja¬ 
min, Zebulun, Manassah, Dan, Asher, Naftali, Gad, In Num¬ 
bers 24:6-29 T it is Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, Dan. Manassah, 
Ephraim , Zfibulun, Isaehan Asher. Naftali, (Reuben and Gad 
are not included, since they remained on the other side of the 
Jordan.) In Moses' blessing, the order is: Reuben, Judah. Levi, 
Benjamin. Joseph. Zebulun. Jsachar. Gad. Dan, Naftali, Asher. 
(Simeon is not mentioned* see Rashi on Deuteronomy 33:7.) In 
Deuteronomy 27:12-13 t for the blessings the order is: Simeon, 
Levi, Judah. Isachar. Joseph, Benjamin; for the curses: Reuben, 
Gad. Ashen Zebulun, Dan, Naftali. 

3. Genesis 30, 35:23. 

4. Otzar Chaim 20Jb, Raavad 5a. 

5. Ba\a Batra J J8b, from Genesis 48:16. 

6. Sheirit Ybsef 12a. Tzioni 58e lists them in the order of Numbers 



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i\ores 


375 


27, Cf Moreh Nevuchtm 1:70, 

28, See chapter Inote 41, 

29, Tiiorti ad toe.. Seres hit Rabbtth 68:9, Rashi on Avot 2:9. See 
chapter U note 119 . Cf Moreh Nemchim. toe. cir. 

10, ShaareyOrah 10 (103a), 

31. En Chaim, Shaar Arikh Anpin 3* Also sec Rashi. Radak, on 
Judges 20:43* Rabakkuk 1:4, Psalms 22:13; Radak. Sheraskim, 
m KTR. m 

32. Chut in S9a, Sh "mot Rabbah 38:4. According to Rashi it is then 
read, “from under, he is the arms of the universe.” It therefore 
refers to the person who lowers himself to be "under." 

3 3, Chagigah 12b. Sec Raiift I4b (40), l 5b (44), See chapter 6, note 30, 

34, See chapter 1, note 143. 

35, Zohar 2:8 la. 2:131a, 2:203a, 3:227a. Parties Rimonim 25:7, 
Shaarty Graft 5 (50bj. These confuse the mind. Zohar 3:123a. 
TikufiC) Zohar Mb, Reshii Chakhmah, Shaar HaYirah 4 

iltel 

36, The next verse, "And, Israel dwelt safely alone (hadad\ T the eye 
of Jacob," also has mystical connotations. The word badad is 
often used to indicate meditation, sec Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 44:25., 
The verse can then read, "And Israel dwelt safely meditating,” 

37, Cf. Baehya on Genesis 49:26. 

38, The third is Habakkuk 3:6- This i$ a highly mystical chapter, 
discussed extensively in the Rahir 68-79, 147-148, 187-193. The 
Question may arise why the Long Version uses ^heights of the 
universewhich is only in the blessing of Joseph, instead of 
"arms of the universe," w r hich applies to all Israel. But if Joseph 
ben Uzid was the author of the Long Version* he may have 
done this to allude to his name. 

39, Zohar 1:50a* 1:274b* 2:22a. Cf Rosh HaShanah 11a* Sifri on 
Deuteronomy 33:15. The Ari, however, states that the Twelve 
Boundaries are in Tiferet. sec Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNT4 7, 

40, Rashi, Shabbat 36a* Hemsess. w renders it CemtpelUa, Cf Oizar 
HaSham here. Also sec VaYikm Rabbah 3:4* Shuldtan Antkk 
Yorwh Deah 48:1 in Hagah. 

4L Saadia, p* 135, Chakamom, Donash, R* Eliezer of Wormes, 
Tziam 4d, Antkh, Masass. Cf Rashi on Ecclesiastes 12:4, 

42, KokeUt Rabbah 7:19* 12:3* Midmsh Tehiitim 103:1, Rashi, 
ShabfMt J 52a, Bemkhot 61 b. 

43, R. Aaron of Bagdad* quoted in Botril Cf Ibn Ezra on Ecclesias¬ 
tes 12:4. 

44, Zevachim 65a (bottom), Torah Jemimah on Ecclesiastes 12:3* 

45, Berakhoi 61b, Shoahat 152a, Rasht identifies it with the 
Hem job. Also see A vot Rabbi Naihan 31:3. Off of DeRabbi 



376 


SEFER VFTZ1RA H 


Akita, Lamed; Rashi on Ecciesiasie. s 12:4, Derishah, Yoreh Deah 
75* Tikuney Zohar 7Q (140b), 

46, Zohar 2:234b* 2:235a T Raavad 48a, Pardee Rimonim 23:I9 
'Korkehan, ” 

47* CHakamoni , R. Eliezer of Wormes 10a, 15b, Saadi a 8. 
Barcelona* p, 256, Tzioni 4d. 

48, Saadi a. p. 135, says that it is the Tzam. In Sheveiley Emunah 4 
(Warsaw, 1887), p, 42b, we find that the Tzam is the portion of 
the small intestine that follows the duodenum. 

49, Don ash, Qizar HaShem, 

50, Barcelona p, 257, Shevetley Rmunak local See Sefer HaKahan 
141 b, 

51, See Qtzor HoShem. ad toe,. Yoreh Deah 48:1 in ffagah. 

52, Qizar Uashem 

53, Chakamtmk Don ash . ELiczer Rokeacb 10a, 

54, Saadi a, p, 135* 

55, Moreh Nevuehim 3:38, Ramban, Bachyft. on Deuteronomy 18:3; 
Radbaz, Meizudos David 271, 

56, Berakhal 61b, Zohar 2:234b, Tikuney Zohar 70 (140b), Pardes 
Rimonim 23:19. 

57, Quot Dt'Rabht Akiha, Lamed 

58, See Judges 4:19* 

59* \bma 18a, When a person sleeps, his soul warms his body, 
Beredut Rabhah 14:11. 

60. Bemkhot 61b. Adar parallels laughter, and hence Purirti is a 
time of joy and clowning, 

61* Andafi ZaraM 43a, Yad, Avodat Kochavim 3:11* The stars arc 
said to have had the precise shapes of the signs of the Zodiac 
in the time of the Flood (fiachya 6a). 

62* Cb Yad. Avodat Kochmim 1:1 Brit Menuchak^ beginning. Sec 
especially Midrash Tanaim . p, 62. cjouted in Torah Shlcmah on 
Genesis 8:22, No, 108. 

63. Cb Tosefoi, Avodah Zarah 43a* ‘ La Taasun," Tshuvot Rashba 
167, 525, Tshuvot Mobil 2:30, Si/sey Cohen (Shach), Yoreh Deah 
141:30* 

64. The tables are found in the Aimagesi (Great Books. Chicago), 
p. 234 ff, A Hebrew translation of these tables may be found in 
1 /ishpain HaMasahC Sasoon, Ms, 823* pp. 118-138. described 
in A tagen Dawid, pp. 1041-1043, plate 32; Sotheby Catalogue 
No, 15, plates on pp. 40 T 53: Moritz Siemschneider, Hebraische 
Vhersetzungen des Mute hirers (Berlin, 1893)* pp. 614-61 b. This 
manuscript, written around 1350, contains pictures of many 
constellations. 

65. See Gra here. 


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SfcFfr.R VFTZlfcAH 


3. Targum J.. Rashbam. ad toe, Both opinions are found in Jbn 
Ezra, ad toc, Radak, Sherashim. 

4. Gttidt Ego- 32b, Pardes Rimanor i 21:8, Choker UXfekuhal 1 3. 
Cf Zahar 1:125a, Or HaChamah, Derekh Emeu ad lac. This is 
also identified with the Pole Serpent {Nochash Bareachf Cf 
Yexod Otam {Berlin, 1848), p, J6c. Also see Barena DeShmuet 

Hakatan 2 (8a). 

5. This is possibly based on verse, “He hangs Uateh) the earth on 
nothingness (MimahT (lob 26:7), Others say that it comes 
from the word Tanm, meaning dragon, with the nun replaced 
by a lamed, Kot Yehudah on kuzari 4:25 (54b). Another possi¬ 
bility presented there is that it is derived from the word, "to 
spread." Thus, the Targum on Isaiah 44:25 translates. “He 
spread the heaven." as Talit Shamay w. See Or HaGanuz on 
Bahtr 95. 

6. ChakatnortL Bamia DtShmuel ft ah atari. Razid 20a 163, 64), 
Ibn Em. Radak. on Isaiah 27:1, Piekey Rabbi EUezer 9 (23a). 
Also see Ibn Ezra, Ramban. on Job 26:13, Radak. Sherashim, 
"SuchosK “ Ibn Janach. Sherashfm, "Barack ," Mordecai, Avodah 
Zarah 3 (840j, Or ItaShekhet 4:1 (4la). The Leviathan is also 
mentioned in Psalms 74:14, 104:26, Job 3:8, 40:25, 

7. Seder Rahtnih DeBertshit 17, m Baity \fidrmhoi 1:28; Midrash 
Konen, “Fifth Day." in Aney Levanon ( Venice, 1601), p. 2b T Ber 
HaMidrash 2:26, Otzar Afidrmhim , p. 254b; Raziel 14b (40), 
Yalkur Reuveni ]7b; Ibn Ezra, introduction to Torah, fourth 
method. R. Avraham Azulai, Chesed LeAmtham 2:3. In one 
ancient source, we find that the "world rotates around the fin 
of the leviathan,” Atidrash Aserei ItaDibror 2, in Bet HaMidrash 
1:63, Oizar Midrmhim, p. 450b. 

8. Raziel I Sh (58): Rumbani, Bertcnora, on Arodah Zarah 3:3; 
At or dec ay foe. dt., Rada I on Ptrkey Rabbi EUezer 9:31, Gra 
here, 

9. It is possibly for this reason that the commentaries stale that 
the Tell is in the sphere of the sun. see Chakamony R, Eliezar 
of Wornries. 

10. Ptolemy, Almagest 7, p, 235. This is also used in ancient 
Hebraic sources, see AUshpatey HaAfazafot, Sasoon. Ms. 823, p- 
I IS, described above, chapter 5. note 64. 

I L Razief 18b i 58h Or HaChamah on Zohar \: 125a. Cf. Raziel 21a 

(97). 

t2. Ram bam. Mordeeat. foe. at. r Stfsey Cohen. Yoreh Deah 141:18. 
Turey Zahar 141:5, 

13, Oizar Chaim 6a. Also see Yenakairni Shabbai 9:1 (57b), Avodah 
Zarah 3:6 (22a). Ramban on Shabhat 83b, m Zth.~ Ravan 188. 



Notes 


379 


Baal is mentioned in Numbers 22:41. Judges 2:13, I Kings 
16:31-32, 18:21, 26. Baal and Ashterah might be the male and 
female serpents, see notes 21, 22. Also see Rashi on Isaiah 27:1, 
Sh'tnot Rabbah 1:12, Tanchuma* VaEreh 3. An allusion to the 
fact that the Baal is the Tdi may be found in I Kings 18:26, in 
the word VaYaHaTeL, which can be rearranged to read 
VtHaTbLY (and the Teh). This serpent may also be identified 
with the serpent of Genesis. 

14. Saadia, p. 6G, Barcelona p. 209. Donash. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 
55a. This is also most probably the opinion of Chakamoni. R. 
Eliczar of Wormes, Also see Tmrat HaAreiz 13 (Offenbach, 
1720), p. 175, Sherri fey Emunah 2 (19a), YesodOtam 2:1 (16a), 
Sefer Techunah (Jerusalem, 1967), p. 59; Cheshban Mahalekhet 
HaKokhavirn 69. 

15. Donash, p. 69. 

16. Kol Yehudah on Kazan 4:25 (54a). Tosefoi Yam Tov on Avodah 
Zarah 3:3. Anonymous Perush on Yad r Kiddush HaChodesh 
14:1, 

] 7. Saadi a, pp. 59 f 60; Barceloni, p. 209; Ramb&m on Avodah Zarah 
3:3; Kuzari 4;25 (55a); Anonymous Perush. loc ciL 

18. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 55a; Cf Petiyah 30b. 

19. Or HaSekhel 4:1 (41 a); Cf Sefer HaCheshek 10b. 

20. Bareiia DeShmuel HaKatan 2; Sefer Techunah, pp. 101-104, Tbn 
Ezra on Exodus 3:15 (end); Job 28:3. 

21. Cf, Rashi, ad foe ; Bereshit Rahhah 7;4. 

22. Bov a Basra 74 b; Midrash Chaser at VeYeserot fBaiey Mjdrashim 
2:225), Zohar 2:34b; Maarekhet Elohut 102b; Raziel 9b (22); 
Emek HaMetekh 103a; Rad a I on Pirkey Rabbi Efiezer 9:31. 
Others, however, state that the pole and coiled serpents arc 
identical, since it is coiled around the pole, 

23. R. Chananel on Bava Batra 74b; Gra on Si/ra DeTzemuta 12a; 
Gra on Tikuney Zohar 49 (89b). 

24. Gra on Si fra DeTeniuta, loc , ctr, 

25. Ralbag on Job 26:13; Netzutzev Orot on Zohar 1:125a. 

26. Raziel 12a (30), 15a (42), 2 la (63, 69), 22a (72), This river is 
mentioned in Daniel 7:10, 

27. Shoshan Yesod Olam , p. 220 (bottom). Also given is a method 
of inducing a dream through which communication with the 
Teli is established. Ibid. No, 558. p, 247. Cf Etz Chaim, Shaar 
Kitzur ABYA 8, p, 403. 

28. Kuzari 4:25 (55a); Cf. Etz Chaim , foe. tit. 

29. Otzar Eden HaGanuz 5 5a, 

30. Yemshalmi r Chagigah 2:1; see Bachya on Genesis 49:26; also 
see Raziel 14b (40); see note 7, 


iqhted material 



SEFER YET21KAH 


3h Sec chapter 5, notes 33 T 34. 

32. Bahir 106; see Kehilat Ymkov, "1etiC 

33. Chagigah 14a. Oizar HaKavod, ad loc, Cf. Sh 'mat Rabbah 8:1, 
Tamia DeBei Eiiahu Rabbah 30 (116a), Yad, Yesodey Ha Torah 
1;9. Black hair is associated with youth, see Ecclesiastes 1 1:10. 
Also see Mekhiha on Exodus 20;2 T Kedushai Levi, Yiiro (Jerusa¬ 
lem, 1958), p. 133. 

34. Etz Chaim, Shuar Arikh Anptn 5:3. Cf. Skmr ffaKavanot, p. 46. 
Also see Zohar 3:127b, 3:! 32a. 

35. Erwin 21b,, Zahar 2:116a, 3:79b, 3:136b, 3:136a. Zohar 
Chadash 6a. A similar expression; is found in Minachot 29b, 
with regard to Rabbi Afciba. 

36. VaYikra Rabbah 19:1, 3/ id rash Shmuet 5. Cf. Shir HaShirim 
Rabbah on 5:11, Torah Temimah, ibidl 

37. Tanchuma BereshU |, Yertishalmi, Shekalim 6:1 (25b), Shir 
HaShirim Rabbah , loc. ciL, Zahar 2:84a, 2:114a, 2:226b, 
3:132a. 3:l54b T Tikuney Zohar 56 (90b). See chapter l, notes 
242, 243, 

38. Malbim. ad loc., Zohar 3:136a, 3:3 40a, 

39. The word for hair bene is Kevutzah, and this is the only time in the 
Bible that this word is used, besides Song of Songs 5:2. The word 
is very closely related to Koti, meaning a thorn, and. also referring 
to the points and fine details (titles) in the Hebrew letters. 

40. Malbmn. loc. at., Tikuney Zohar 70 (122a). The thirteen hairs 
of this Beard are related to the twelve Diagonal Boundaries, see 
Etemah Rabatai 3:4:3 (7 la). 

4L Berakhoi 30a, from Song of Songs 4:4, See Zohar 2:116a + 

42. Ramban, ad loc,, Pirkey Rabbi Eli tzar 35 (82b). Cf. I bn Ezra on 
Psalms 76:3, Rad&k on 2 Samuel 24;J6 t Radbaz. Meizudoi 
David 304; Kuxari 1:14 (17ab), Zohar l:l50b t 2:79a. Abo see 
.Midrash Tehillim 91:7, Zohar E:l3la, 1:72a; Bereshit Rabbah 
68:5, Radak on Psalms 132:2. 

43. Pri Yiizchak on 6:3. 

44. Shabbat 151b. Bava Batra 16b, Targum on Job 38:33, Cf. R. 
Aaron of Baghdad, quoted in Botril here. Gra here, 

45. Pesachim 94b, Bma Batra 74a, Radak on Psalms 77:19. 

46. See Likutey Mohamn 5:3. 

47. Bahir !06, 

48. Ibid. 

49. Raziel I ! a (27). 

50. See Malbim. ad loc . 

51 . Bereshil Rabbah 68:12. 

52. Zohar 1:11b. Also see March Nevuchim 2:30 T Rashi on Genesis 
1:2. Cf. VaYikra Rabbah 18:3. 


i/riqhta 


iteriaf 



Notes 


361 


53. Sec note 37. 

54. See chapter 5, note 39, 

55. PeliyahAr 5d. 

56. Pri Yttzchak ad kx .. Pardes Rimonim 9:3. 

57. Sec Etz Chaim, Shaar TaNT4 5 t p. 71; Shaar HaPan-ufim 4. p, 
115; Shuar Tikkun HaHukva 5, p, 160; Elemah Rabatai 4:5:3 
H4Ge); Cf. Zahar 2:203a; Tikuney Zahar 30 (75a); see chapter 
l, note 28, 

58. See Kuzari 4:25 (55b). 

59. Berakhoi 9:5 t Tikuney Zahar 21 (49h), Zohar 1:155b. Etz 
Chaim , Shaar Kitzur ABYA 4, p. 399; Ecclesiastes 10:2, Prov¬ 
erbs 18:2. Also see Kuzari, loc. tit., Mafteach HaRayon 26a, 

60. Zohar 3:47b, Cf. Chutm 60b. 

61. Emunot VcDeyol 3 :4, end, introduction to 3. Or HaShem 2:6:2, 
Sefer haYashar l t Pardes Rimonim 2:6, Etz Chaim, Shaar 
HaKehliim i. Re shit Chakhmah, Shaar HaTshuvah 1, Shnei 
Luchot Ha Brit, Bet Yisroei (1:21b), Shomer Emunim 
(HaKadmon} 2: \ 3. Derekh HaShem 1:2:1. Also see Zohar L:l0b, 
1:230b* 2; 166b. Sefer HaBrit 2:1:3, 

62. Esther Rabbah I ft 14, 

63. Midrash Tehillim 31:7, See Derekh HaShem 1:2:1, 

64. Shiur Komah 13:3 (lOb). Derekh HaShem 2:6:4. 

65. Tatuum, ad loc., Yerushaimi, Berakhoi 6:1 (4 lb). 

66. March Mevuchim 1:38. 

67. Zohar 2:42b. Emunot VcDeyot. end of l f Etz Chaim, Shaar 
HaKetalint 1. 

68. Shiur Komah, ioc. tit. 

69. Reshit Chakhmah, Introduction. Cf R. Yonah on Proverbs 
2:5. 

70. Shabbat 31 b. 

71. Berakhoi 6b. 

72. Yad, TUsuvah 8:7; Cf Berakhoi 4a. 

73. Avoi 4; 16. 

74. Ktddushin 39b, Chidin 142a, 

75. Avoi 4:17. 

76. Berakhoi 17a. 

77. Yad, Tshuvah 8:3 t Tornt HaAdam^ in Kitvey Ramban. p. 307. 

78. Daat Tevunah (Tel Aviv, 1966), p, 9. 

79. Pardes Rimonim 2:6, Shefa Tab end of 2, Etz Chaim . Shaar 
Derushey ABYA 1. 

80. Midrask, quoted in Shaar HaGamul, p. 296, Also see Zohar 
2:166a, Likutey Moharan 275, Skhot HaRan 134. 

81- Bemhit Rabhah 12:5, Chagigah 12a, 

82* Ibid,- Be reshit Rabhah 3:6, Rashi on Genesis 1:4. 



SEFER Vr.T/lRAtt 


83. VaYikm Kabbah 20:7, Zahar 1:135a. 

84. Rava Ratra IQa. 

85. Emunai VeDeyot 9:5, Ibn Ezra on Psalms 16:11, VaYikm 
Kabbah 30:2, 

86. Rerakhot 34b, Sanhedrin 99a, Yad. Tihuvah 8:7, 

87. Apodal HaKodah 2:18, Shnei Luchot Hd&tU* Bet Chakhmah 
(1:22a). A mud HaAvodah 101b h Nefesh HaChaim 1:12, Qhev 
YIsrael, R'eh (on Deuteronomy 8:16). Cf. Amt 4:2, Nish mat 
Adam 1 (Pieterkov, 1911). p. 16b. 

88. Cf Barcehni. p, 226, Get HaSherttai 90a, Otzar Eden HaGanuz 
16a, 17a, 


Appendix I: 
Other Versions 


L The order is that of the planets on Sunday morning, the same 
as i n Shabbat 156a, Cf Hagahot Ret Chadash (Bach), ad loc, 

2, A paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 3:1. 

3, Paraphrase of Psalm 93:2. 

4. The word Yarok is usually translated as green. RashL however, 
identifies Yarok with the Biblical “blue wool" (Tetdielet); see 
Rasbi on Exodus 25:4, Numbers 15:33, Rerakhot 9b "Tekhefef" 
Git tin 31b "Sarhata. Also see Tcsefot Succah 31b "Ha Yarok/ 
Chutin 37b "Elehf Also see Rashi, Ckagigah 12a VaYasheL ' 
In Kazwl 12b (33), ibis is likened io the green line seen on the 
horizon, when one climbs the mast of a ship in the middle of 
the sea. This is aUo identified as being the same KHpah as the 
Storm wind of Ezekiel, see Tikuney Zerhar 37 (78a), Pardes 
Rimomm 25:1. 

5. The Hebrew here is MePhuiamint . Rashi interprets this as 
meaning moist (moisten), Ckagigah 12a. Befza 24b. Zevachim 
45a, Also see Raziet 11b (29). R. Eliezer HaKalir, quoted in 
Botril on hilt Yad r Bet HaBechirah 1:14, KesefMishnakadloc. 
Since water represents the primeval matter (see chapter 1, note 
205), this wetness denotes material existence, see R. Levi ben 
Shlomo of Lunil, quoted in Botfil* toe, cit. Others say that the 
word indicates unknown, nameless stones, from Plant Almani 
(Ruth 4:1. see Rashi, Ibn Ezra, ad / ocl ), Raavad. Otzar HaShem^ 
on 1:1! t R. Aaron of Baghdad, quoted in Both], foe. err. Ralbag 
on Genesis 1:2 (Venice. 1547), p r 9c. Saadia Gaon states that it 





m 

means “split rocks/ from MePhulach, Saadia on 4:6, p, 123, 
On p + 124, however he states that this denotes the bedrock 
of the earth. Another opinion is ihat these are ‘‘ineffable 
rocks/ with MePhuhrn coming from the word Batam , since 
Bet and Peh interchange, Botril lac cit., quoting R.Yaakovben 
Meirof Gyan in Tznif Metuchah (see above 1:8), Others inter¬ 
pret them to be substancelcss. ethereal rocks, with the root 
Patam coming from Bclimah, father of R, Levi ben Shlomo 
of Lunil* quoted in Botril, he. cit. Others relate it to death, 
breaking Pot mm into two words. Pot Mol ibid , The root 
Palam is also related to the English Flume, sec Arukh PLM. 
Also see Bertenoro. Rambam on Shabbat 22:6 (147a). These 
can also be seen as “siones of darkness/ since this expression 
in 3ob 28:3 isrenderedby the targum nAvamm MePhutamim. 
These stones are also related to the letters of the alphabet, as 
in Se/er Yazirah 4:16, see Tziom 3c, Likutey Moharan 18:6, 

6. Chagigah 12a, Ibn Ezra on Genesis 1:2, Zohar 2:74b T 2:273b, 
3:27a, 3:279a, 3:305b, Tikuney Zohar, Introduction (11a), IS 
(36a) + 37 t?8a), Zohar Chadash 32c, 55a + 106c. J 10a, 119a, 
Raziei l lb (29), 12b (33), 14a (39), Tshum Rama 6. 

7 r See chapter 1, note 119, chapter 5, note 29. 

8. Peace and evil are seen as opposites from Isaiah 45:7. 

9. See Chagigah 16a, Zohar 1:6a, 2:232a, Tikuney Zohar , Intro¬ 
duction (12b), 12 (64b), Ohar YiSraet. VaErah (27a). 

10. Cf Chagigah 12 a, 

LI, Cf. Ecclesiastes 4:8. 

12. Paraphrase of Zechana 14:9. 

13. The Hebrew . MaNedet, here is obscure. 

14. Instead of fmot, mothers, Saadis uses UmoL This usually 
means "‘nations/ Saadia, however, translates them as 
“principles/ 

I 5, This is an ancient, obsolete way of spelling the letter Bet. Note 
its resemblence to Peh. 

16, The Hebrew here. MeChuthat. is obscure. See Ezekiel 16:4, 
30:21. lob 38:9, 

17. This was the original designation for the planet Mercury. 
Later, it was abbreviated as Kochav alone, see Shahbai 156a, 
This would appear to indicate that this text antedates the Tal¬ 
mud, Linguistically, this appears to be the most ancient 
version, 

1$, In plural. It might denote both the Urge and small 
intestines. 


jpv ncihte 


:n; 


L 



SEFER YETZ1HAH 


3S* 


Appendix II: 

The Thirty-Two Paths 

L Raavad. Introduction U la), Parries Rimonim 12, Shmhan Sctdof 
33b* 76a, Peiiyah 48a, Pri Yitzehak (Warsaw. I SS4>, Pan 2, 
28a. 

2. See No. 13. 

3. Paraphrase of 1 Chronicles 29:11. 

4. Isaiah 25:1. 

5. The word is Me AtziL sharing the same root as Atzilut. 

6. Probably alluding to No, 3. 

7. This angd is identified as Sund or Suriah. see Berakhot 51a, 
Hekhabi Rahami 16:4, Also see Tikuruy Zohar 70 (127b, top). 
Other sources identify this angel as Sanddphon, see Zohar 
2:260a. Zahar Chariash 38d, Cf Kuzari 3:65. 

8. Greatness (Gedulah) is the earlier name for the Sefirah of 
Che&fcd, based on the verse 1 Chronicles 29:11. The Gphan is 
an angel of Asiyah, See Pardes Jiimomm 1:1. 

9. This same idea is found in Se/er Hafyun (No. 7) quoted in 
Pardes Rimonim 1:7. Also see Pardes Rimonim J2:4, 23:8; 
Botril on 2:3. 

10. See No, I, 2. 

11. See chapter 2, note 7. 

12. Amfaiey Ihkor in Hebrew. The expression is found in the Musaf 
service for Rosh HaShanah at the beginning of Shofrat, relating 
to the revelation at Sinai. Also see Sefer Halyun, in A. Idhnek, 
Ginxey Chakhmat HaKabaUah. p. 11. where it is identified with 
the ChashmaL 

13. Exodus 20:21, Dvuieronomy 4:11. 5:19. Cf Psalms IS: 10, 97:2, 
1 Kings 8:12. 

14. It is therefore a power that surrounds and holds. See Appendix 
I, note 16. 

I j. Alluding to Psalm 91:1. See note 18. 

16. The verse speaks of the “shadow of ShaddaL" the name asso¬ 
ciated with Yesod. Yesod is called Chai r which has a numeri¬ 
cal value of 18, This is therefore the 18th state of 
consciousness. 

17, See No, 3* 

15. Alluding to Psalm 91:1. See note ] 5. 



Styles 


m 


Appendix IV: 

Editions and Commentaries 

1. This edition is not mentioned in Qtzer Sefanm or in Bei Eked 
Sefanm. It is only listed by Westcott T p. 10, and Waite* p 3, 

2. See Se'edar BaKodesh in part 2. 

3. Not in Oizar Sefarim or Bei EkedSefarim, Mentioned by Waite, 
p. 3. 

4. The same is true of this edition. 

5. Not in Otxar Sefarim or Bel Eked Sejdrim. Mentioned by 
Goldschmidt. 

6. See Shern HaGedohm, Samekh 1; Meir Benayu, Toldoi MaAri 
tlerusaiein, 1967), pp. 43, 72, 24 L Regarding Benjamin Ha Levi 
and his father Shmuel, see Sinai 43:100 (1958). Much of this 
book was taken from Chetndat HaYamim (lsmir, 1731). Also 
see Ne’edar BaKodesh flsmir. 1755). 

7. See Amsterdam (1713) edition of Sefer Yet zirah. 

8. See Etz Chaim , 1 ntraduction, pp. 19 T 20. Shern HaGfdoHm, Alef 
1 1, A. ielIinek, Ltucraturblau des Orients (OLB) i851, p. 425, 
G. Sc ho lent. KiryaS Sefer 4:286 (1928). Kitwy Yad BaKabaliah 

17:7, p. 48. 

9. In Parties Rimonim 12:2, the 32 Paths found in the Ramod are 
attributed to Yosef HaArukh. Also see Oizar Sefanm, Feh 315; 
Shern HaGedohm. Scholem, toe. cit. 

10. Especially in his setting up of the 231 Gates. See Oizar Eden 
HaGanuz 16b. 37a: chapter 2, note 43. 

I!. Oizar Eden HsGomtz 16b, quoted in A. Jellinek. Bet HaSefer 
3:XLIL Also see Oizar Sefarim, Feh 316. 

12. R. Kirsheim, Lilt era turblatt des Orients (GLR) 1846, p, 666, 
quoted in Temirin, p. 10, note 8. Also sec Ibn Ezra's Mazney 
Lashori HaKtydesh {Offenbach, 1791), Introduction. 

13, A. Jell e nek. Moses de Leon and sein Verbatims zum Sohar 
US51), p. 46; G, SchoJem, Kiryai Sefer 6:387 (1930). However, 
where R, Yehudah Chayil quotes R. Azrid, this does not fit the 
primed Ramban. see Chayil 37b, 112b. Sec note 26. 

14. Donash is mentioned by Abraham Ibn Ezra in his commentary 
On Genesis 38:9. 

15, Revue des Etudes Jitives (RED, VoL 105, 107, M2, 113, 119, 
121. Cf Munk, “Nolle sur AbquE Wllid,’’ Journal Asiatique, 
1850: A, Neubauer. Catalogue of Hebrew Manuscripts sn the 



m 


SEFLR V ETZIKAH 


Bodleian Library No. 11)8: Furst, La reraturblats des Orients 
{OLB) 1850, p. 897. 

! 6. it would be tempting to identify this with R. Fliezar of Wormes. 
However, in Otzar Eden HaGartuz 16b. Abulifia writes that the 
commentary of R. Yilzchak Bardashi is unique in its treatment 
of the 231 Gates. Ehezar of Wormes uses a similar system, and 
therefore, Abulafta could not have seen his commentary, 

! 7. See A. JeiJmck, Beilmge zur Gesdiichte der Kabbalah, Vol. 2, p. 
til; Yehudah Lcib Dukes. Nachat Kadomim (Hanover. 1853), 
p„ 3 n Goldschmidt, p. 39; Otzar Sefarim, Peh 317, This should 
be injected for the reason given in note 16, 

18. See Introduction, note 109, 

19. See Tosefat, Chagigah 13a. “YeRagley, ** from Pesikta 179a, Also 
see Rosh, Berakhot 5:21. Maadney Horn Tow ad be 

20. See S.D. Luzzatto, Utteraturblatt dew Orients (OLB) 1847. p. 
343; David Castelli, U commento di Shabhathai Donnolo , p. 
iv, 

21. See A. Mara, HaTzofeh 5:195. G, Scbotem, Major Trends, p, $5. 
Also see Weinberg, in Jahrbuch der Juedisch-Lireraiischen 
Gesellschaft 20:283. 

22. Otzar Sefarim . Peh 329, Mordecai Shmuel Girondi. Toldot 
Ucdoley Yisr&et. Mem 77, Goldschmidt, p. 42, 

23. It is significant that in his commentary on 2:3. he uses 
Abulafia's system for the 231 Gates, 

24. See G. Scholem, Kitwy Yad BaKaballah 35, p* 93; M, 
Steinschneider. Catalogue Libomm Uebraeomm in Bibliotheca 
Bodhnam (Berlin. 1852-60), No. 1793; Toidot Gedohy Yisrael. 
Mem 95* Otzar Sefarim, Peh 330, Julius Fucrst, Bibliotheca 
Judaica (Leipzig., 1848-63). Vol. I* p. 187. 

25. For a lengthy discussion, sec G, Scholem, Kiryat Sefer 6:385 
(J93Q). Cf. Chayit 48a. 91a, 

26. See note 13, Also see A, Jdlinek, Bettrdge zur Geschichte der 
Kabbalah l:9 + 2:49, Litteraturhlati des Orients (OLB) 1851, p. 
562. For a counter argument, see Chaim Dov Chevef Kitvey 
Rarnban 2:452. Also see Parties Rimtmim 1:4 (end), 

27. Sec Catalogue Mdrzhacher {Munich, 1888} No. 104. 

28 Wunderbar. Liueraturblatt des Orients (OLB) 1848, p. 737. 

29. Razid was a pseudonym of Abulafia, which he uses in Sefer 
HaEdoL Munich, Ms. 285„ published in Monel sschnft far 
Geschichte tmd IVtssenschaft des Juden turns (MGWJ) 36:558, 
and in HaKabbahh Shel Sefer HaTenumah YeShel Abraham 
Abidufia, p. 197, He notes that il has the same numerical value 
and number of letters as his name Abraham, see Or HaSekhel 
7:3 (92aj. Chayay Olam Ha Bah 7b. Razid 24a, b actually con- 


Copyrighted n 



Sales 


JS7 


tains a small portion from the beginning of Chayay Olam 
HaBah regarding the divine Names. It also makes use of the 
Gematna style reminiscent of Abulafta. See Otzar Sefarim, Resh 
121. Also sec Baiey Midrcahot l: 12 

30. Cf. Landauer, Lnteraturhlau des Orients (OLB) 1845* p. 214; 
G, Scholem, Kitvey Yad Ba Kabbalah 17:8* p. 48, 

31 . t'ruvm 56a, M VeAitu ' 

32. There is another manuscript. Parma, di Rossi 399:2, which is 
also called Tachakmom. This, however, is more of a commen¬ 
tary on the Bam fa ofShmuel HaKatan, regarding the phases of 
the moon in 746, 

33. The introduction was published separately by A. Jellincfc, 
Perush A umseh Ada in BeTzahnenu (Leipzig, 3 854), reprinted in 
Gimey Chakhmat HaKabbaiah, Jerusalem, 1969, by A r Geiger, 
Paaleh HaPanim No. 2, Berlin, I860, and by Zusman 
Moniener, in Kitvey Refuah. Jerusalem. 1949. 

34. Also see Otzar Sefarim, Peh 325; S. Munk. "Notice sur Abod 
Walid/' Journal Asiatique 1850; David Castilli, // eommenio di 
Shabbathai Donnoh, p. vi; M,H. Landauer, Litteraturhlatt des 
Orients (OLB) 1845, p. 562 Jf. Munich manuscript contains 
commentaries of Saadia. Yaafcov ben Nissan, Sh abba lit i 
Donelo, and Yitzchak Yisraeli, 

35. Sec A, Id I inek, Beitr&ge zur Geschichfe der Kabbalah 2:39* 
Otzar Sefarim, Peh 326, 

36. Otzar Sefarim, Peh 322, 

37. Otzar Sefartm, Peh 323, Also in Margokut Jovah (Amsterdam, 
1722), Cf S. Munk. Notice sur R. Saadit 2 , p. 16. 

38. Sec Ga bria! Falk, introduction to Choi am Takhnii (Amsterdam, 
1865), p, 7, 

39. Sec note 10. 

40. In Ufcutey Shaft 32b, there is also a comment on the first Mish¬ 
it ah of Sefer Yetzirah. Also see El- Chaim, Shaar TaATA 5*7, 
Shaar Maamarey Rmhhi, p. 299a. 

41. Cf, Litteraturhlatt des Orients (OLB) 1844, p. 481; Otzar 
Sefarim. Peh 328. 

42. There are, however, early citations that do no; appear to agree 
with this published commentary, see Chavii 19b, 198b; Otzar 
Chaim 17b, 

43. Sec Rerue des Eludes Junes (REJ) 107.109 (1947), Also see 
Shlomo Yehudah Friend^ Das Buck aher des Elements (Leipzig, 
1884), 8:9. 

44. See G, Scbolem. Kiryat Sefer 4:286-302 (1928). Also see M. 
Sieinsneider. Catalogue Munchener ffcbreischer Handsckrifien 
115:3. Cf Botril on 2:1, 2:6, 6:1. 


ighled material 



3tl SEFER YETZIRAH 

45. See note 9. 

46. See note 44. 

47* L* Zun/ T Zwr Geshichter un LUterawre, p. 250; Olzar Sqfarim. 
PHt 324, 

4&, See Otzar Sefarim, Ymi 3$4 (published by Yisrad Davitaiit 
Smicha Assaf, and Yisachar Joel, Jerusalem* 1941, 4 D 30), 438 

PP 

49. For shortcomings in this work, see Revue des Etudes Junes 
(REJ) 29:310-316. 

50, According to Fursi and Steinsneider, see Goldschmidt, p. 36. 
5L See J.Ch. Wolf* Bibiioteca <1715). Vol, I, p, 23 T G. Scholem, 

mhhographia Kabulis I ica (Berlin, 1933), "Pis tori us, “ Temirm, p. 
27, note 5S. See H. Graetz, History of the Jews (New York, 
1927), Yol. 4. p. 466. 


Copyrighted material 



INDEX 


iiIlkI in 



m 


SEFER V F.TZmAU 


Balance soak* anal o gy, 2; 1, 9 d 
B eauty (Tifcrrt). I :2. 1J 
Benediction. 1:9 . b IJ 
Benignity trrr Che*ed h 
B mvih(Bnahk, 1: 4,42 
? chambers of. 4: 1 S. 1 86 
Bl-jjoLbj- personnJjty,, 4:6, liii 
Btnah [LnrkntandingL k2.25 
oonsciouniera., 3;4„ Li? 

Blurt and white fire.fcl.liB 
Blood. J:fi r liii 
Body, astral, 2:5, ill 
Boots, three [Sephamri I, 1:1. 5 
Bruit, ngjit and left, fid, iy 
Birikinj of Vftfelt, 3:2, Ml 
Breastplate hoam,. SiL 199 
Breath of Lis mg God. Isi 
Breath, fire and warn, 1:11. 23 
Breathing, controller!, 2:1. 10CI 
eternises. 2r|, 13Q 
Burning glass, 1:12, 

Calendar. mystery of. xiti 
Camp* of Diune Presence, S:H1. 221 
Camp*, H, cf moon, 5:1 0.123 
Ouse and effect. lii ff 
CeLcsOai Treasuries. 6:4, 349 
Chakhmnb (Wisdom f ll. 11 
consciousness-, 3;4 L LiT 
oonvisauJ, l:ll t 76 
Cha-iki in I ! s per mi n i. 5 j 1 <1 , 22 T 
Chamber* in Bertyrt (T^fcU. L&i 
Champing sustenance, 4:4, L£>4 
Channels of emanan on, 6:1,235 
Chanting (Incantation). 2:5. 13D 
Chaos, first matter, 2:&. 132 
Chanot (Markova!. I 6. 55: StJ, 207 
Charity. 4A 163 

Chashmaf 2:1.95: 3:1.143: fcL 2A1 
Chayah cm'i oner mind. 1:14. E& 
Chiyah tn Atnlut, hH. -jh 
C ha yet s i 3 3j OLh l haC^iidfth, 241 

Otaviit. 4 living, angels. 1_JH. fcl 
Cherubim, fcL24Q 
Chrtcd (Love. Mmy), ki, 22 
Chink (vowtJ i). 2:3. LilJ 
ChcUm (oj, 2:3,103 
Ciphers. sUritkird, 2j2. Llilj 
Cin-1^ fCtpU^ilS. 3:4. LDS 
CircurnciHon, h3, 3j 
Cwtlre.i:i, 198 
Colophon. X, nit 

Color*, planets, lepfcurol. 4:14j L S-9 
Combination* (formula l. 2:4.123 
Communion with Sefircrt, US. 49 
Concentration. ju 
Consciousness (Sekhe I). 29’ 
Consciousness. 2 stales. Ill, 93 
kinds oCU4,4fl 
stales of, tx 


Consequences, 6:4j 25'} 

Consonants u body, 4:1, Lid 
ConStellahOnS (jodme I, 2ii-J 
Conwinpl&ied object, 1:4.33 
Continents, seven, 4:15, 3 Bfi. 
Contradiction. 3:1, l_iy 
Cordevrm s mvel order, 2: ?, LD4 
Covenants, 6:?. 255 
Cranial nerves, path 1-2, J:l. 9 
openings. seven, 4;6„ j t? 

Crewi&n (BerEynh), 1:4,92 
Otdlte* « nfhtio, 1:4. A3 
Creation, goal of. 6:4. 24£ 
process of, a 
reewn for, ^ 24? 
second. 4U5JS5 
sequence of, 3 :2, UJ 
theory of 1:14, 23 
two accounts, 4:15. ISO 
Creative energy,, SjJ, 204 
CnsttiTiv■}. Hi, it 
CrownfKriET\ L£,23 
Cube, twelve edges. 5:2, 203 
Cap. King David’s. Iti LIS 
Curative use:, 2:5, 131 
Cycle of es rati* $: ]. 2 ’ u 
of lime. 2j4,10$ 

Cyclic pcT'j-.milLty, 4:6, Lty 

Daal (Diilh), knowledge. 1:2. If 2? 
pmnvSefinLh. 3:2.14& 
quaakScfirih. 1:5.16,2 < ] 17 
Daaesh and FLtJcn mtuics, 4:1 r ly J 
Danger of cxpenmcfitahon, Tr* 113 
Days of Creation, seven, IcJL Ifl 
Dchghl, 2^1123 
Delineation, definition, lit, 7 
Denials. Iji m 
Depictive ibcught, 1 : 8 . tib 
Depression, 4:6, LfiS 
Dcrekh (public pjishl. I: I. Hi 
Deserti. seven, 4:15. 1 IB 
Dcffifiaaion.lili IM 
Diagonal syrtmetr,. 2:1 LL5 
Diagonal* (Tree of Life), 205 
Dijgjnmi, ^il jenf, l:? F 03 
Diametncal opftottre^ 6:^ 2iS 
Digit*, ten, 1:1. 5 
Diiundoni | hype^spaoe), lj|, 44 
live {space). 1:1, IQ 
veeond«>-. i:i3, S7 
Diseipjme. menial, ?:*„ 136 
Disunity of SeEiroi, 1:14j !iS 
Divine inspiralton, 1:9, ll 
inlervenlion, ItJJj 24 
mystery. A 

presence. cwnps, 225 
Name*, ICL fell 2=1 ® 

Names and-Sefiret. bib. 2M 
perception of 6:4. 24? 













Itidtx, 


393 


Presence. 243 
Wisdom misled. fiiL 239 
Dogmalic presentation, sti 
Dominance and Subjugation, 4i l-ti 
Donzah.2 33 
phonetic «da; 2 104 

Double lews, five, 3EJ, Ltl3 
seven. I:2. 3U4:1. 15? 
Dfico 1 «;l,^3 
Dragons, male and female, frL 
Drugs, hallttdiwigeme, 2:6, 133 

Earth (Erete), 1:11, 75 
is a 4th element. sii, 1.46 
Earths, seven, 4:15, |i7 
East, facing the,, 2:5,130 
Ecliptic pale. 6:1,213 
Edersheim. Alfred. 135 
Effes, l:N. gp 
Ego, nullifying the, fcl ,2 07 
Eh veil (Ehetehi I win he. 6:6, 254 
El (Alj. 6:6, 254 
ElShaddai, ALmtghiy, 1:1,17 
ELecIromagpetir force. 3:4, 145 
Li omenta I* (diagonals, t, 1:2,11 
three, liiAJU 
twelve. 5J, m 
Elements of alchemy, iil3. £1 
three alchemical. 2:E, Sfi- 
Etotam.5iH.2H 
Etotiim (plural), 1_J, 12 
ELohmi Chaim (Living God I, I - 1 f 17 
Elohim Chayim (alt- *p,J, lv5. £3 
Emanation (Attilut). 1:4^41 
Emanations, 6;l„ Hi 
Erntk haMdefcb vowels, 3 J, 1£L4 
Emtsh as name of God. 3:2, M2 
Emet (Amah), truth, 1:7. ftj 
Emptying the mind, 6[l, 141 
End of oldeit text, I ; B, 6& 

Enemies, to attack. 2; 1 , 9" 

Enemy (Klipah. ml), £2* 20ft 
Energy-, creative, III* 

Energy, Matter, Space, UJ 
Envelopments of the soul, 1:14 . &9 
tphrairr, and Muuaett, 5:7, IW 
Equilibrium of Sefirot, 1:3,33 

■piritiHil, iiKjfil 

Equinoxes, o; 1, 235 
Eretz, I of 7 earths* 4 e 15> 1ST 
Eirors, facaliiy of, 2:3,121 
Esh (Ascii, fine), 3:4, MI 
Esotrnc lore arid MEM. xvii 
Essmrs and Pythagoreans. *vit 
Eternal life, 6;<249 
Eternity and hypenime, 1 : 5,51 
dwelling in, IjM, If 
time, space. SjJ, 2SJI 
Etbe-.fel.» 

Evil, learning from. It I, 12 


Exile, 4:14. ISO 
Exponentiation, L.L id 
Extrapoianng knowledge, 1:5,. 45 

Ezekiel's vision, I 52 

FActon al maihematFCS, 4:16, 191 
Faith, zcoessdbi lily, ]; 5, .4? 

Fathers, 6:1 j 231 
dime, 3:2. L43 
Fear (see Gevurzh) 

Fire and revelation, &1* 2.41 
black and while. fc 1.215 
of darkness, 6:1, 241 
third seep, 6 : 1 . 2-11 
vs. water, 1, II. 73 
Firmaments, seven, 4; IS, If" 

F (vie double tenere, 2;3, b03 
Five levels of soul, 1:14 . 

Five phonetic families, 2:3. EQj 
Five n»t vowels, 2 J, mi 
Focus, 1U2.12 
Forte, LUkChlnnCied. 1; I. i ’ 

Forces, elemental, y2,2? 

physical. three, iii E4J 
Fociranon fYetjirali), IM, 42 
Foundation (Ytxxfi, 1:3.33 
Freewill, 1:7, 6 0 
and evil, 6:4, 246 
Fricative (hard) sounds. 4:1.139 
Future as feminine, 1:5,45 

Gslaxv.Teli as axis of, 6:LZ?* 
Gal gal (alt. spelling). *iL 25? 

sphere, cycle. 2:4. lOfe 
Gsondc period, uv 
GandeB analogy, 2:4, ilfc? 

Gales, 211 or tl 0:4, Ufl 
how computed, 2M. 109 
tiayiyah, 3:6, I 52 
Gcdullsh [see Chcsedl 
Gcmitria (numeric viJuei, 2:2. KIL 
Gender of SelilOL Jj. 3. 34 
GwetOStry. 4:6, LpS 
Gevsnfa (Power, Juetice), 1 23 

Gift from God, 6:4,249 
GikattUa v ow-ci order, LM 
GilgaE cyclmg leners, 2il, I til 

Giving v*. Ttwramu liLJ, *7 

Gicxwd, Sifi, 212 
Grtosticismua, xxii 
Gcd beyond qur gl^sp, 1:4, 39 
conceptualizing of. 5:3.30 7 
indescribable. 1:7,65 
knowledge of, 6:4^ 247 
names of, 1:1, 7 
withou! Son or brother, hi t-5 
Gold, trananiitajtiOil. 2 :6, Lid 
Golden mean, Tiferet. 1:1.1, > • 
Golem. 1:1. 22 
Good uvd bai *ih Li? 













SEFER YETZ1RAH 


394 


Good and evil, 1 : F. 44 

Gra (Eliatiu, Gaon'k xxv 

Gra and apausal di mensLon, h 13 . i 2 

Gra diagram -of r«. !;£, 1£> 

Gra pbonelic order, i;3 i£tl 

CrT3 \4rSLUEL, XL 

and Tnbrt r 5l2. 199 
Grace, 4r4, S.fi4, 4 : 14 . 1^3 
Grace and Mercy LlL 1$ 
and Ugliness. 40. i£2 
Grammar, ix 

Gravitational three, 3:4. L4r 

G reatncss |joc Chesisd) 

Guttcral letters, 1:1 3, S I 

HllludflOfeoeiit, 2^6. 133 
hands used m power, 1:3, 33 
Harshness, 4:3. L&2 
hasidic meditation, is 
I lead belly, chest, 6il 24 2 ;6:2, 243 
Haling Kabalisdc, Hi 
health, 4:1-1, I SV 5:1. J9S 
Heart, as bailie ground, 6:3.24.5 
m I he soul, 2:4. 1C3 
king over soul, 6:1. 240 
mind, body. trL 4 
verbal mind, 1:8. 6? 

Heaven and Zer Anpih, 6: 1. 242 
Htidml ttaKodesh, 4:4. 1 M 
HekhaJot, xx 
text, L£ SI 
Hemsess, im, 212 
Hejxd (rfe CbeVrtd-l 
Hidden -trulls,, si n 
Hissing (Shinl, LL97 
Hod (Splendor, Glory), hi, 23 
Skikim^h lire Chai hmah) 

Holiness, 4:6, 169 
Holy pfHolies. 4:1 5 . 136 
Holy Spirit, 6:1. 24J, 

Homiletic interpretation. 3:1. Lj 9 
Hours, of the day, 5; 10 , 223 
planetary, 4:14 . LBJ 
Houses, wchi, 5: 1, 201 
Human understanding, 6; 4, 249 
Hanwthdl and 4:11 . 237 

Hirmmmj (Mqiti),!:!, 92 
Hosks [shellsl. evil. 5^2, 20$ 
Hypenquadrams (321. 1:$, In 
Hyperapaee, hi, id 
Hvpersphere coordinates, 6:1. 242 
Hype tetrahedron. 6:5, 2b j 

IdolatiiHis uses, xiii 
Idolatry and Zodiac, S:lfl, 220 
Illumination from God, 6:4.249 
Imagery* :mi:= 1$ and throw. iilJL IS 
Imagination vs, memory, 6 3, 244 
Immh (ratnher, female 1 , 1:1, E3 
Immanence (OmniptraenCc 2:6, 05 


Immutability, hi 1. '6 
imperative, reading iil t 
Envununitinsy X 

Inclination of ecliptic. 6 :1, 234 
Incontprehcnsithlity. fiif. 23? 
Ineffable One. 6:5, 253 
Ineffable Sefinji. hj. 4 L! 

Inflnite being, Ain Sof. hf, 7 
InLiniteintinitcsintaJ. 1:14. 39 
infinity of extension, h& 3 22 
Cnilux. Home of, 29$ 
lnfo™diofl h 2:2 t KH3 
InJwbitams of uflrlds, 1 : 12, 79 
Initiation of Revelation, 6:1.243 
Ini ri anion, two stages of, hi 4. s * 
Inner sight, 1:4, 41 
Insight from vision, 1:6, >3 
litipi rational SeJirah, 5:2, 

Intellect. Li* 

Intellect, level above, 2:6, L13 
Intelligence, (see Birtah) 

Interface between states, 2fL. 93 
Isolation from senses, 1 ; H. •£. 

Jacob's ladder, hi, 6Z; 6:1. 24J 
JeaSousy, 4:14, ISfl 
Jehovah fjeeTetragmmimfibn'l 
Joseph divided In TWO, 5:1, 199 
Joy, 4:14. iM 

Judgment, harsh ran, 2:1, 37 
Judgments, five, 2;3. JGS 
lustice (jee Grvurah) 

JHV psraileS three mothers, LL1 31 

kabahstL-c exercises, 2:3. liii 
Kadosh 1 Qadesh, Holy t, 1_: L 129 
Kameer (vowd A), 1 J 03 

keter H Kether. Crown). h2j 23 
Ke> s to heaver, and earth, -L14. 1 SO 
King over ihe soul, 1:1. 9 
Ktngs. three. 6:1 . 242 
Kingship 1 . MaJLhoi ?, 1:2,23 
Kh i , 4:6 . 214 

KJipah, Keiipoth, QlLphot, 5:2. 20$ 
knots of lo'-e and union, fij, 23™ 
Knowledge ;J>sat|, hlj23 

koan s, Zcjv 1 :14, S '■) 

Ko riceban. 5:6. 21 2~~ 

Labial ieners, lylJj 5J 
Ladder, of die Sotirol, P : 14.9(3 
(ranscrndenlal, 6:1.24J 
Ltiddm, seven. 4:5. Lbb 
Language. 4; 14. | :j0 
70 pnrnary. 24,122 
Latin transl at ion, 33 0 
Lnirude (wnmuih). hlL 142 
Laaghier and spleen, 4 l 10, 2 L £ 

Laws c I nature fixed. 4:15. 1S6 
Lechery', iti± Lfij 


















/rider 


3 95 


Leniency, 4:3 r 

Letter combir-attuns, 1 ; M, 41 
pcrnmuiicms, U 
Letters, significance, liJ, 3 
Lev, 6:1.211 
Levi. 5-3 U9 

Leviathan EpoL-c serpent), 6rl . LI3 

Lisbiliiyv 6: l. 116 
Liberal arts and sciences, 3:6 . Li2 
U ffc and Death, 4:3, !Lti2 
Li ffcspans, future, 4, J 5, 1 89 
Lich- and darkness, fi: 4. 2,-Li 
negative, kl4, 92 
Infinite, filtered. 6:4, -4^ 

Lightning flash. 1 :6j 54 
Linguali, S;Jj. 103 
Linguistics, is 

Longevity of man, 4c15. T 89 
Longing, bunting A: 1 ,24J 
Longiluibiwrl angle, fit I, -42 
Lord ofHoJitH,lLl J i£! 

Love (CbesedjL IA 13 

Lose, Judgment, Mercy, ^2. LiJ 

Loves and strengths, hi, 34 

Loves, file. 2:3, I l.lii 

Lunar nodes and eclipses. &[1. 23t: 

Lurid, XXv 

Lust, JUi m 

Maaaelt Me; lav*, *ix 

Magic squares, system of, JuS^, L69 

Magic, white, si 

Magical Kabbalah, x 

Maimomdes, 5 2.14 

Majesty free Modi 

MalaLh (ingel, messenger .k 1:12 . SO 

MaJchi^dek, Jti.it 

Malkhwi iKmgship), Li 23 
Manssseh and £ptnun, 5j.2, 199 
Manic-ifcpressLv-cness, hi, LfS 
Manifestations of God, hi, 7 
Mansions of the moon, F; 10. 223 
Mantras in the KabaJah, kS. fat 
Marftava \ charnM), fi : 2.2QT 
Matter, energy, space, 3:4, 145 
Mnvira f WaicrL 3tl. 148 
Me, her, him. 1:1.9 
Meditation and eemtsmptation. lit, 21 
and Kalmlah, sxvi 
by writing. 2:2.. LlIJ 
m a letter, fill. 239 
Meditative manual, x 
Meditative Kabbalah, ix 
Melody and Yesod, 1:1. £05 
Merpbrum., lx}, 3b 
Memory, 4:6. lt-9 
as nonverbal, l: f. 43 
vs. imagjftstion, fill, 244 
Menorah and WeaLth. 4;4, I o4 
MemaEsmes. LIJ, 75 


Mercy, It 12* ZB 

Mercy (see Cbrscd i 

Mercy and Grace, 1:1, lii 

Merit. fi:L 216 

Metap&ysscs, 335 

Microcosm, human body, hL 150 

Microcosm human as, kl^B 

Mieroprosopus tier AnpiuLfiriL, 238 
Milk. 5:6. 214 

Milky Way. Tell as axis, 6; l . Lip 
Mind t Aiunius), 1:14, W 
Mind, supernal, 2:6, 135 
twxi parts of. 2i 1,98 
Ministering angels seen, 1:11, ^ 
Mnemonics for wwdfi, 2:3, 1423 
Modulus arithmetic, kJJX 221 
Momentary vision, L6, 54 
Monothasin, xii 

Month, lunar f_28 days), 5:5.IIP 
sidereal, 5;lfl, 221 
Souths and sodsc* 5 lL 197 
M«n imdia^l movement^ 5:10, 221 
Moon as closest planet, 4: E4., ILfr 
Moon’ 1 2S camps, Sz 111, 223 
Morel spirit dimension, I;5.44 
Mother letters primary, 1:1,13 
Mother letters, three, 3 :1. 119 
Mother, name of person*, 5: ML 22 1 
Mothers {Ale f Mem Shin), U2 .21 
Mothers parallel JHV, L13>31 
Mothers [3j and columns, 2:1. 95 
Mothers, Doubles, ELLemcntaK 1:1 , “ 
Movement, voluntary, J :3. 145 
Mysteries, bidden, #:1 L 239 
Mystery of Moses (ZoharL 2:1, 
nen logical. 3:2, L4I 
not philosophy x 
Mystical ecstasy, 6:1, 2.42 
experience. Li. 5* 
fetrsighL 2r& 135 
paths,wisdom, hi, 5 
tradition, xtv 
uni on, knots, 6:.L 221 

Nrchash Akatkalen, 6r,l, 236 
Nachub Bam’acb. tiL 211 
Nam e, 43 -letter. 1:14. ]M 
secret, divine, 3:7. 153 
Names, of persons. 3: 1 11, 220 
Names, qf God. IrL T 
Names, unclean, xis - 
Names, Divine, 2 : !. 99 
Names, Divine, 4fld Seflroi, 6:6,25.4 
Natural array Of SefiKM, 1:1,28 
Narural course of events l:ll, 74 
Natural events, elrer, x 
Nefesh (soul), Iili, t L > 

Nefesh m .Asiyah MalLhut, hi 4, 90 
Negative light, hi4,92 
Nentvus system. LL 8 
















396 


SEFERYETZIRAH 


Neshamah tpneuma). 1:14, 80 
Neshumah in Beriyah, LiLL Ml 
Ktri^w (hidden peth), Ul. lfl 
Ndzacb (Vwtoiyli 1ii 21 
Nod*!, ascendingdesMTiding, 6 - 1. 235 
NdftVertm] thought. 1:1* LI 

Notation, use of. 1 _J, 123 
Number (Sephar), Li I. 5 
Numerations, ten, 1:1,5 
Numerical values, Il3. 22i 2:2, m 
Nutftteyikon vrswel order, 2:3, L04 

Obliquity of ecliptic, ftl, 234 
Olam, 3^1, L42 
Om (Awn. Omkara), S3 
Qmmporeince, 1:1. L7 
Qnhini m,l;H. 79; ftl, 241 
Opposite*, diametrical, 6:3, 14a 
Or Vashar (Direct Light), 1:10, U 
Orifices* ft S. 25U 
Orpins of (be body, 5:6, 111 
OrioiYewd, 1: 2, 2J 

P^chnd [see (jevurahi 
Paind Seficfit. 1:13. K7 
Palaial i el Lera, 1:33, Si 
Ratals, 2:3, L03 
Pantheism. 1:6, 05 
Paradigm, covenant, 1:3, 34 
Paradox. 1:7, 65 
Pwxwfim, JtZ, 14]; 5:2,202 
Fissions. restraint of, 1 .63 

Pas and tunue as one, 1:7, £3 
Paths of wisdom, 1:1,5 
Paths of Wisdom (321 297 
Paths., seven verticaL 4:5, lh£ 

Peace and War, 4 lL Ifi 1 
Feliym (mystical), hjj Li 
Perception tprcsenl time], 6:3, 245 
Perfection of creation, 4 :J, 1 bi 
Permutation, Ttlragramniaian, 5:2. 200 
Permutations, taWesof, 4Hfi. 191 
Pemuteiions-oppCHiites, 2j4, 114 
Personifications, 3^2. L41 
Phonetic families, five. 1L3, 107 
Phonetic groups. Jive, l:T. 64 
Phonetic values, !: fj? 

Phonetics, ix 
Phonic groups, 1:3, ifl5 
Physical crristence, 1:7, 62 
Physical reality, 2:6. 132 
Pi I l&rs, seven, 2^6, L12 
Twelve, 5zI*2Gfi 
Picnic force, Jj4, tii 
PLtuchey Cbutam mnemonic, 2:3, LQ2 
Planets and their hosts. ftl,231 
order of creation, >1:14., I SO 
seven, 1:14, 91!; 4:6, It: 

Plosive (soft) sounds, 4:1, I^i 
Plunlt'ty in creation, ILL 5 


Polarity, 1 : 7, 59 
Polarization of Sefijcc. 1:3,13 
Pole serpent, north, ft L 213 
Polygons, £;£ 211 
Poverty, 4:M. ISO 
Prayer, I; 1 ), 7Q 
Pranioftidon, 5: l &, 

Pnrae numbers, 2:4, 115 
Primed aether, 1 :13j ZS 
matter, 1:11.75 
Processes, five, 3:3, L44 
PrucreOthe force, 1:1, L£ 
Pronunciation errers. 1:5. L2? 
Prophetic Scfirah, 5:3, Zli7 
Proto-Sefuot, 3cl, 1140 
Providence, Divine. 4:6. I 70 
Proximity, spiritual, 1:7, bJ 
PsaJtenum, 5:6. 2)2 
PsycT»Lo$i»l swies, 3:5. L40 
Ptolemy, 5slD. 220 
Purgatory. 3:5, L4'J 

Qualities and letters, 1:1* j 
creation of, 4:51 163 
twrJvc. ML 155 
Quantities and numbers, 3:1,5 

Radian ot altitude, ft L 242 
Rahamin (iet Hfcpfl) 

Rimak phonic groups* 2:3, 1115 
Randomness, Dl, 14 
Rarie], 1:13, SI 
bonk of magic, x. 

Rebirth ituo spiritual, 6:1. 7J0 
Reciting letters, 2:2, 1E12 
Reconciliation, 3:2, 142 
Rectification ve. Chans, 3 j2j |4J 
Redundancy, 2:4* LL5 
Relativity. 3:4, fi7 
Religious i racli nation, J^ti* 169 
Remainder and quotient, 5: 10, 2 2 S 
Resb as a dem bit Eelter, 4fl, ] 00 
Reverence, fear, awe, 6:4, NJb 
Reverie, 1^4, 33 
Reward for goodness, ft4, 216 
Rings, Six, 3:2. |J2 
Rittangci, 315 

River Dinur (Milky W*y), ftj.lifi 
Rivera, seven [Holy Land). 4:43, ISS 
Rokeach vowel order. 2:3. L 04 
Rose of Mysteries, 2 :l.S9 
Roach halCodesli, 1:9, 71 
Roach in Yctzirah, 1:11, 90 
Ranch Elohun, IjS, 65 
Roach (spirit, soul, air]. 1:2-4. 89 

Saadi a Goon (id vrrsjuni. xxrv 
Sabbath, 4^4, L hi 
Sabbat teal cycle, 4:15, ].S9 
Sabbaticals. 4:95, LSi 













hdej 


397 


Safed diagram of tree, hi, 23 
school, ix; **v 
Safety from KLipaJn. 5;2, IQS 
Stytup, 1_0, of creation, IGG 

Scholcm, Gcrehom, xxii 
Science*, seven, S32 
Seals, Sewn, 4*. 1£S 
Seas or oceans, seven, 4:15. l KB 
Seasons of the year, 3:5,143 
Seed and Desolation, 4:3, id! 
Sefiirelic prantneiarion, 4:1. H9 
SeferYerarrah, method of. 216 , L36 
SefilUt arrangements, 1:2.31 
("BitLical refs.), 1:2, 21 
(di&its), ten, LL 3 
elevenfDwllulii U7 
Proto-, iijL 140 
Quasi, 2j4, 112 
Seiche] (Camscionsness), 297 
Self. neswiMi of the, 5:2 r 2122 
Sensation, double, il, 

Senses and attributes, 5: L 19? 

Senses, five, 1:7. 6 1 
Sensory deprivation, 1:14, Si 
Sephar (number), IiJ _ 1£! 

Sephartm (books), hr, 19 

Sepher (tact), It I, 5 

Sequence of number and lime, h i . 20 

Serafim ffWers), hll. "3 

Serpent, North Pole, 6 :1, 233 

Seven KlSsi*, 2 :*, 132 

Seven Planets, Angels, 4:®!, Loll 

Sevens, 4,15.135 

Severity i ice Getvrah) 

Sexual i>rjcun. J.;_L & 
restraint, 1.8.63 
Sexual i tv, 3:1 L54 
Shabbsuai. 4 LH, 131 
Shefa susienaoce, 1:12, 72 
Sbcrn, xi ii 

Shem frame). 2:1, 99 

Shin (loculi, m-dnttl, 1:1,3 
Shurek fit! 13. m 
Shva(5ihvoi*el], 5:30, 223 
Sickness. 4:14, 130 
Silent consonant*, 1:1. 8 
Single (tee Elements]) 

5Lpp.ur {Communication'), liL 5 
Sleep and Koah. 2 1 
Sleep, induction of, 5:6, 214 
Snow versus water, 1:11,76 
Sonorous verses, xi 
Sou], Ani tna, 1:14 , : 9 
counterpart of body ; 3:6, L3l) 
must return, ljS, 6 Jji 
J lewis of. I :I4.9Q 
Souls, wurld of. Lx 
Space Jj dimensions), hi, ]'? 

Space, time, spirit, 1.44 
Spacial dimension*, 1 = 13. 85 


Species, four, hU, 35 
Sphere, circle-, cycle, 2:4.1G& 

Spherical coordinates, ij :! . 242 
Spina) cord. iiL § 

Spirit {RujKh. pneitma). It 14, 4 iU 
Spirit of God. 1:9, 6 1 ? 

Spirit, space, time, hi. 2 0 
Spiritual danger. 2:4, ] 24 
energy. 1:3,3b 
forces, I Jj 
Shadow, LAAJ 
universes, I i l l, 30 
versus physical, 6:3. 244 
world, levels, It7, 6 2 
world, origin, 1 : 12 , 2 S 
Splendor (Hod), 1:3 , 23 
Stan and angels, 4:6. 17£| 

Static. mental, 1 : 6 , 133 
Sletumg, Knul, 33i 
SdJ I smal I voice, 2; I , £7 
Stomachs, four (ruminant), 5§6, 233 
Stotmwind and lightning , 5:2. 208 
S train in die teal, xxii 
Strength fGrvuTah), 1:2, 2J 
Strengths, five, 2_ : T, j [.Hj 
S trife, 4:14. LSD ' 

SubaintialiOot Ofrtined, xi 
Supernal Man (Adam Kid-ora), E5G 
Surrealism, 2;L 39 
Sutxogutefotgoodevil, 4:14, LSG 
Symbolism distracts, 1 r 8 , 6 ? 

Symmetry, diagonal. 2:4. 1 15 
Synthesis, 1:13,82 


Tacgim 3:7, L53 

TatpiM tangible link, 6 ^ 239 

Taste, il, IS! 

Tav. double letter, last, 1:2,31 
Techniques* powerful, 2:5, 125 
Telekinetic power, x 
Telepathic powers, u 
Tell links spiritual, 6:3, 244 
Temple, destruction of, 4.J. Ltd 
Temple, Second, xv 
Temura (tee Penrcuuancm) 

Tetragrammaion, liL UL ill 1:6, l Ail 3 :2, 
J4Q 

and Adoooy, &J6, 123 
f our Setters. It I, 9 

Jehovah, 6 l 4234 
YHVH.3:5, L25 
Temsmnfph (see Chayoi j 
Text (Sepher). 1 : 1 , 5 
Therapy (ree Healing) 

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. 1:13, 62 
Thought, nullification. fcL 241 
Three steps. 6:1. 2.41 
Three JHV. Air, Water, fire, 4:15. 1 ft? 

Tree MoLhcrs and Fathers, 3:2, I 43 
Three Elemental ! and Mothers. LilA, la 

















m 


5EFER.YETZIRAH 


Ti feret {bcautyl,. 1 : 2,2.J 
Tlklnincy Zohar. 1:10, 72j 4il, lil 
Tikuncy Zohar I ait. spelling). 1:1 A. 85 
Tikumey ziobar vowels, 2:3. Efr-1 
Time versus space. 6:3 , 244 
Time, 7 * 7QW) years. 4:15, l_3_5 
cycle of, 2:4 . !££■! 

Times of EccJestasieit, ?: I f, 222 
Tooth (tri-dent), shin, 1:1^8- 
Torah, primeval. 6:1. 233 
Traits, seven primary. 4rl4 . LiL7 
Transccndance of God, l:j 50 
Transcendental inEtux, 297 
eight as, 4:4. 165 
intefficc, 5:2,108 
paths, (H, l J 
pOTMd. 312.140 
Transmutation, 2;-$. 13L5 
Transposition (TcrfluruJi}, 4:3, LiH 
Tret, aJiemaie pattern*. Ijl, 22 
Tree of Knowledge, 1^5, 46 
Tree of Life |,Autt Cluon'l, 3:2. 143 
diagonals. 5: 2, 305 
hi Chayitti, 1:5, 40 
QpChaii L39 
TrecofScfin*. kl.il 

Triads. V2., 143 

Triads of Sefer Yerai rah. L : J 3,32 
Tribes of Israel, twelve, 5:1, ] T? 
Twelves, sevens, cast off, 5:10. 221 
Tmvwi {TofeaofU Kmb, 6:$, 234 
Tdetdi (e), 111 m 
Tdmtzuiii process, 1:1.14 

Ugliness. 4:3. !62 
Unification of Sefirot, 1:7. ti2 
Unity of God, k5. 

U inverse, age of the, 4: i 5 . 186 
ptee of the, 5:2,207 
sou], year, IlL I? 

SpTimpl, 4Ji 189 

Universes, seven. 4:15, LKi 
or wodds (4J, 1:4, 43 
Unknowable Devine, 5:1. 23£ 

Uranus, Nepnme, Pluto. 4:14, ill 
Ufiin and ThtimiJK. swnes, 5:2, 1 99 
Urea Minor. 6: 1. 232 

Yedic texts, eh 
Verbal thought, 1 1 lj L3 
Versons of the liefer YetnraJi, xxjv 
Vii«wv iNeaachl, U2 ,21 
Visibility of ait, 2A 135 
Visuali*wioEi, l:U.9-l 
orgod, 2fl7 

Visualizing nothingness, 1:14, s i 
VbcabzaDon technique, 2:1, Ifll 
Voice, breath, speech. lift, Jj] 

Vowel, poi nts, 2:5, 13Q 
sixth fShva). 5:10, 213 


Vowels and days oi'week. 4:14, 184 
as soul, 4].!^ L£J 
five primary, 2: L 33 
five root, 2:3.105 
Hebrew (ten’), 1 :1 . 25 
missing m Hebrew, l:U. 9fl 

WfcifcA,E„33$ 

Warfare of the body, 5 ; I (fc, 220 
Water!Mem), 1:1. 6 
versus fire, irl2, 22 
Wealth and Poverty, 4:3, L&7 
Wcstcott, W. W_ 135 
Whirlwind, ltd. 55 
Will, Consciousness of, 298 
Volition, Ratten, U_L 15 
Wind, WHO. fire; sound of, 6U, 241 
Wisdom iChakhmah). 1:2, 21 
concealed, 6:1,138 
and Folly, Lh2 
32 paths of 1,1.5; 297 
Womb fGatgalj, 6: 1.141 ) 

W'orid. an anti chamber, 6:4, 245 
Future tOlarnJJaBab h 6:4.245 
ofspeech (YflizLrahh *‘A 169 
Worlds, four. J \i, 42 
Writing 4:14, ISO 
beginnings of, 1:11.75 

Yibashahikbschdh), 4:15, IS? 

Yah, 6:6, 254 
God of Land, 
the name (Ynd Htl Id, 13 
Yaweh (rer TetrejjamniiUori) 

Years, cycles of, *:I5, 186 
Yechidah and mend, 1:14. B L ) 
Yccbmih in keter, 1:14, jfl 
Yemenite pronunciation, 4:1, I ? :J 
Yewd (Foundation), 1:2,22 
Yel.dr.iJv (Fcrmutiunh 1:4.42 
force* of, U4.43 
Yiddish translation, 33J 
Yoga. JCabbalah as, i s 
Yud HeVkv, 1:13,9) 

Yud, apex Of, IjT, 62 
Yud, iimpis point, 1:1 . I_5 
YHV partUd 5 mothers, 1:13,31 
YTTVH (/HVH, Jehovah). 6.6. 254 

Zflikoans, 1:14,89 
Zct AnpLn {Zaur Anpin), 6:1, ^47 
Zodifct, 1:14 91 
12siamof.S:l.t97 
Zdhar, kx 
md An, x*v 
author of, xvn 
diagram of tree, 1:2,28 
of Moshe dc Leon. Lfi, 22 
theoretical, ix 




















$24.95 Kabbalah / Judaic Studies 


To most people, the very word Kabbalah implies the mystical 
experience par excellence, hue most modern books about this subject 
shed very little light into its ancient mystical and magical aspects. 
Rabbi Arych Kaplan has therefore translated the Sefir Yetzirah, the 
oldest and most mysterious of all kahbalistie Lexis, and now brings its 
theoretical, meditative and magical implications to light. He expounds 
on the dynamics of the spiritual domain, the worlds of the Seflrot* | 
souls and angels, When properly understood* [he Sefir Yetzirah 
becomes the instruction manual for a very special type of meditation 
meant to strengthen concentration, and to aid the development of 
telekinetic and telepathic powers, These powers were meant to help 
initiates perform feats that outwardly appeared magical, line magical 
kabbalah is closely related to the meditative kabbalah* and uses 
various signs, incarnations, and divine names by w hich initiates eoukl 
influence or alter natural events. This translation includes the 
meditation in five dimensions, the transition from Dinah to Chakhmah 
conscious ness, the point of infinity, kabbaMstie astrology, Ezekiel's 
vision according to the Sefir Yetzirah, and the mystery of the 231 gates, 

Also included is a digest of all major commentaries on the text 
of Sefir Yetzirah and a bibliography of many of the major kabbalistic 
works that discuss it, as well as extensive notes regarding various 
aspects of the translation. Rabbi Kaplan's translation is based on the 
Gra version* which has been thought to be the most authentic. Also 
included is the short version, ihe long version, and the Saadia version* 
making this volume the most complete work on the Sefir Yetzirah in 
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